The Anatomist, the Barber-Surgeon, and the King: How the Accidental Death of Henry II of France Changed the World (Gateway Bookshelf)

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9781633880344: The Anatomist, the Barber-Surgeon, and the King: How the Accidental Death of Henry II of France Changed the World (Gateway Bookshelf)
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This unique study examines a critical juncture in the history of the Renaissance brought about by a freak accident. Combining both a history of sixteenth-century medicine and European politics, the author describes the far-reaching effects of the death of King Henry II of France (1519-1559). Grievously wounded by an accidental blow to the head suffered during a mock jousting competition, the king lingered for weeks before expiring. Even the ministrations of Europe’s two most renowned physicians—Andreas Vesalius and Ambroise Paré—could not prevent his demise. As the author shows, the death of Henry II created a power vacuum, and the subsequent chain of events had significant effects on the balance of power in Europe. 

A noted surgeon, the author also provides many insights into the state of medicine in this era—a time when the practice of surgery and knowledge of human anatomy were being transformed. Readers learn how Vesalius’s ingenious studies of anatomy advanced the understanding of human body functions. And Paré’s experience with battlefield wounds led to more humane and effective treatments of the injured. 

This colorful, lively narrative combines engrossing details about politics, history, and medicine during an important period at the end of the Renaissance.

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About the Author:

Seymour I. Schwartz, MD, Distinguished Alumni Professor of Surgery at the University of Rochester, is a world-renowned surgeon and the author of Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery, which in its ten editions and translations has sold more than 300,000 copies. He is also the author of a history of American surgery called Gifted Hands: America’s Most Significant Contributions to Surgery. Dr. Schwartz is equally renowned as a cartographic historian and is the author of many books on historical maps, including Putting “America” on the Map: The Story of the Most Important Graphic Document in the History of the United States. Recently, he has also written a work on colonial American history titled Cadwallader Colden: A Biography.

Review:

“Seymour I. Schwartz offers an intelligent, engaging, and incisive account of the innovative efforts of noted physicians Andreas Vesalius and Ambrose Paré to attend the mortally wounded King Henry II of France after a jousting match in 1559. Following the death of the king, Schwartz carefully maps the broader political, religious, and medical terrain of the late Renaissance and the early Reformation that shaped an entire continent. The result is a book that intersects Schwartz’s keen sensibilities and perspectives as a physician, surgeon, and historian of medicine.”
 
—Stephanie Brown Clark, MD, PhD, Director, Division of Medical Humanities & Bioethics, University of Rochester School of Medicine
PRAISE FOR THE WORK OF SEYMOUR I. SCHWARTZ:

"Schwartz, known to every medical student as a result of his brilliant book Principles of Surgery, has now turned the focus inward in his book Gifted Hands.... There is no question that this is a book about heroes. They are compassionate intellectuals who forever changed the course of our medical history. Make no mistake; Seymour Schwartz is one of them." 

Dr SANJAY GUPTA, Faculty Neurosurgeon, Emory Clinic; Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN
"Schwartz's superb research takes us back to the early sixteenth century with a riveting tale of the history of America's first map - a must read for map lovers and historians."

DAVID A. COBB, Curator, Harvard Map Collection (reviewing Putting "America" on the Map
"Schwartz provides a richly textured and illustrated biography of one of the most important maps in history.... I recommend it to the casual reader as well as the serious student of history." 

RALPH E. EHRENBERG, Former Chief, Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (reviewing Putting "America" on the Map)

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