Leech (Animal)

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9781780230337: Leech (Animal)

Armed with razor-sharp teeth and capable of drinking many times its volume of blood, the leech is an unlikely cure for ill health. Yet that is exactly the role this worm-like parasite has played in both Western and Eastern medicine throughout history. In this book, Robert G. W. Kirk and Neil Pemberton explore how the leech surfaces in radically different spheres. The ancients used them in humeral medicine to bring the four humors of the body—blood, phlegm, and black and yellow bile—back into balance. Today, leeches are used in plastic and reconstructive surgery to help reattach severed limbs and remove pools of blood before it kills tissue. Leeches have also been used in a nineteenth-century meteorological barometer and a twentieth-century biomedical tool that helped win a Nobel Prize. Kirk and Pemberton also reveal the dark side of leeches as they are portrayed in fiction, film, and popular culture. From Bram Stoker’s Dracula to a video game player’s nemesis, the leech is used to represent the fears of science run amok. Leech shines new light on one of humanity’s most enduring and unlikely companions.

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About the Author:

Robert G. W. Kirk is Wellcome Research Fellow in the Centre for the History of Science Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester, where Neil Pemberton is a research associate.

Review:

“Kirk and Pemberton are . . . fond of their subject . . . but they are particularly interested in its cultural symbolism. While there is plenty of solid science in this book, the most distinctive sections deal with the psychology of being bled, and our temerity for daring to equate the leech with all things nasty in ourselves.” (Times Literary Supplement)

“This book shies away from the facile association of leeches with parasites to view them, instead, as a symbiotic relationship with humankind, whereby both man and leech have benefited from the creature’s extraordinary abilities. This short but rich volume thus explores the leech as both animal and symbol, from ancient medical remedy to modern horror film, from emblem of capitalism to biomedical tool . . . Well illustrated and engagingly written . . . the authors ably tie their historical and cultural research to the natural history of the leech, offering an interesting perspective on the history of science.”   (British Journal for the History of Science)

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Robert G. W. Kirk, Neil Pemberton
Published by Reaktion Books, United Kingdom (2013)
ISBN 10: 1780230338 ISBN 13: 9781780230337
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Book Description Reaktion Books, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The leech is one of nature s most tenacious yet mysterious animals. Possessing a hold on the human body and culture, few creatures feature so unexpectedly yet consistently in human history. Popularly thought to be a formidable bloodsucking parasite, armed with razor-sharp teeth and capable of drinking many times its volume of blood, the leech is a most unlikely candidate to turn to as a cure for ill-health. Yet, this is precisely the role leeches have occupied in human medicine, Western and Eastern, from earliest recorded history to the present. Yet for every leech that served as a symbol of hope and progress, there is a pessimistic twin. In fiction, film and popular culture, from Bram Stoker s Dracula and twentieth-century B-movies to a video game-player s nemesis, the leech is shown to have embodied what is darkest in human nature, representing fears of science and nature run amok. In Leech, Robert G. W. Kirk and Neil Pemberton explore how this creature repeatedly surfaces throughout human history, featuring in radically different practices; from the humoral medicine of the ancients to twenty-first-century cosmetic surgery, from nineteenth-century meteorological barometer to twentieth-century biomedical tool that helped to win a Nobel Prize, the leech has been often present and always surprising. A horror and a healer, the leech has reared its head in many unexpected places and practices, revealing this creature to be among humanity s most enduring and peculiar companions. Bookseller Inventory # AA99781780230337

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Robert G. W. Kirk, Neil Pemberton
Published by Reaktion Books, United Kingdom (2013)
ISBN 10: 1780230338 ISBN 13: 9781780230337
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Book Description Reaktion Books, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The leech is one of nature s most tenacious yet mysterious animals. Possessing a hold on the human body and culture, few creatures feature so unexpectedly yet consistently in human history. Popularly thought to be a formidable bloodsucking parasite, armed with razor-sharp teeth and capable of drinking many times its volume of blood, the leech is a most unlikely candidate to turn to as a cure for ill-health. Yet, this is precisely the role leeches have occupied in human medicine, Western and Eastern, from earliest recorded history to the present. Yet for every leech that served as a symbol of hope and progress, there is a pessimistic twin. In fiction, film and popular culture, from Bram Stoker s Dracula and twentieth-century B-movies to a video game-player s nemesis, the leech is shown to have embodied what is darkest in human nature, representing fears of science and nature run amok. In Leech, Robert G. W. Kirk and Neil Pemberton explore how this creature repeatedly surfaces throughout human history, featuring in radically different practices; from the humoral medicine of the ancients to twenty-first-century cosmetic surgery, from nineteenth-century meteorological barometer to twentieth-century biomedical tool that helped to win a Nobel Prize, the leech has been often present and always surprising. A horror and a healer, the leech has reared its head in many unexpected places and practices, revealing this creature to be among humanity s most enduring and peculiar companions. Bookseller Inventory # AA99781780230337

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Kirk, Robert G. W.; Pemberton, Neil
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Book Description Reaktion Books. Book Condition: New. 2013. Paperback. A horror and a healer, the leech has reared its head in many unexpected places and practices, revealing this creature to be among humanity's most enduring and peculiar companions. The Leech is one of nature's most tenacious yet mysterious animals. This book explores how this creature repeatedly surfaces throughout human history. Series: Animal. Num Pages: 224 pages, 100 black & white illustrations, 60 colour illustrations. BIC Classification: WNCN. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 192 x 138 x 14. Weight in Grams: 358. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781780230337

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Robert G. W. Kirk, Neil Pemberton
Published by Reaktion Books, United Kingdom (2013)
ISBN 10: 1780230338 ISBN 13: 9781780230337
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Book Description Reaktion Books, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The leech is one of nature s most tenacious yet mysterious animals. Possessing a hold on the human body and culture, few creatures feature so unexpectedly yet consistently in human history. Popularly thought to be a formidable bloodsucking parasite, armed with razor-sharp teeth and capable of drinking many times its volume of blood, the leech is a most unlikely candidate to turn to as a cure for ill-health. Yet, this is precisely the role leeches have occupied in human medicine, Western and Eastern, from earliest recorded history to the present. Yet for every leech that served as a symbol of hope and progress, there is a pessimistic twin. In fiction, film and popular culture, from Bram Stoker s Dracula and twentieth-century B-movies to a video game-player s nemesis, the leech is shown to have embodied what is darkest in human nature, representing fears of science and nature run amok. In Leech, Robert G. W. Kirk and Neil Pemberton explore how this creature repeatedly surfaces throughout human history, featuring in radically different practices; from the humoral medicine of the ancients to twenty-first-century cosmetic surgery, from nineteenth-century meteorological barometer to twentieth-century biomedical tool that helped to win a Nobel Prize, the leech has been often present and always surprising. A horror and a healer, the leech has reared its head in many unexpected places and practices, revealing this creature to be among humanity s most enduring and peculiar companions. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9781780230337

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Book Description Reaktion Books, 2013. Book Condition: New. 2013. Paperback. A horror and a healer, the leech has reared its head in many unexpected places and practices, revealing this creature to be among humanity's most enduring and peculiar companions. The Leech is one of nature's most tenacious yet mysterious animals. This book explores how this creature repeatedly surfaces throughout human history. Series: Animal. Num Pages: 224 pages, 100 black & white illustrations, 60 colour illustrations. BIC Classification: WNCN. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 192 x 138 x 14. Weight in Grams: 358. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9781780230337

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; The leech is one of nature's most tenacious yet mysterious animals. Possessing a hold on the human body and culture, few creatures feature so unexpectedly yet consistently in human history. Popularly thought to be a formidable bloodsucking parasite, armed with razor-sharp teeth and capable of drinki. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9781780230337_rkm

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