Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sebastian's London: The Old Operating Theatre, St. Thomas's Hospital



Readers of the Sebastian St. Cyr series know that Paul Gibson serves as a surgeon at both St. Thomas's and St. Bartholomew's Hospitals in London. St. Bartholomew's still exists at Smithfield, but St. Thomas's moved from its original site in Southwark, on the south bank of the Thames near London Bridge, in the Victorian period. Most of the hospital's buildings disappeared long ago. But one of St. Thomas's old operating theatres is still there and has been turned into a fascinating, small, hard to find, and vaguely disturbing little museum.



Once the operating theater for St. Thomas's women's ward, it is rather bizarrely sited in the attic of the old church (which is why it survived, hidden away). It actually dates to slightly later than our period--1822--but the conditions here were much as they had been for hundreds of years. The concept of antiseptic surgery was still decades away. So were anesthetics. Women were blindfolded before being brought in for their operations--presumably so they wouldn't see the watching students packed in the surrounding stands like "herrings in a barrel." Light was provided by a large overhead skylight. Most surgeries were amputations; a skilled surgeon like Gibson could cut off a leg in less than a minute, but without anesthetics it would still have been a nightmare.



Note the box of sand under the table to catch the blood.



If you're interested, the museum has a small website you can visit here.

Labels: , ,

23 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:39 AM  
Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

When Charles Darwin first witnessed a surgery in such a theater he nearly passed out and had to leave. That's when he decided that medicine wasn't for him.

11:26 AM  
Blogger paz said...

Thank you for this post! Your "Sebastian's London" series is one of my favorite parts of your blog. This particular entry made me wonder if this would have also have been "Hero's London," or if women where only allowed in as patients...

9:34 PM  
Blogger LOgalinOR said...

Candace, thanks so much for another "Sebastian's London" post. Utterly fascinating stuff, especially for us in the medical professions. One could almost hear about the "secret meetings" and "societies" that were only spread by word of mouth under hushed tones. The desire for knowledge and understanding of the human anatomy was great---for those who were interested.
I attended pharmacy school in the late 1970's, in a major Midwestern city, in an old and unsafe part of town, next door to an old beer brewery. The anatomy classes with cadavers were in the basement, actually more like a dungeon (picture--narrow deserted hallways, creaking wooden floors and stairwells, dim lighting, the cloying smell of formaldehyde). Shades of Paul Gibson's "secret" world-laboratory--LOL.

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Essex said...

This is such a cool post. When I look at those pics and think of how medicine has advanced since then, it makes me marvel at the ingenuity of those who made it all possible. A great book to read is "The Emperor of all Maladies - a Biography of Cancer". It details the history of cancer and its treatment. No wonder we are living longer!
On another note, only a few more weeks until march 5th! I am on vacay then,so am happily thinking about spending a day doing nothing but reading WDB.

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:51 AM  
Blogger cs harris said...

Charles, you really have to wonder what kind of a person could do that.

Paz, I suspect the women were only allowed as patients. I know medical schools in New Orleans in the 1850s allowed women to attend medical lectures even though they couldn't be licensed.

LOgalnOR, that sounds like the stuff of nightmares!

Essex, Sounds fascinating, although I don't know if I could read that book--cancer really, really scares me--way more than serial killers.



3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Candace - Lots of spammers on blogger lately. How annoying for you. Anyway, the pics are fascinating. I love seeing the things how they actually were. It gives you such an appreciation for what was really happening back then. Keeping my fingers crossed that next week's release will rocket to the top of the charts. I know I'm counting the days. Have my hardback ordered from B&N, my kindle version ordered from Amazon and am just waiting for the audible version to show up so I can order that too. Oh, and I've put copies on hold at both King County and Seattle Public Libraries for both myself and every family member (knowing it helps sell copies for you ;-) I'm counting the hours and taking Tuesday off so I can tuck away and read. Well, have to do taxes too, but what a treat it will be to be able to read about Sebastian after I'm done. Sabena

9:12 AM  
Blogger cs harris said...

Sabena, this post seems to have brought them out in unusually large numbers. Thanks so much for all your efforts! I recently heard that the book has already gone into a second printing, before it's even on sale, so that's a good sign!

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:27 AM  
Blogger Buffy said...

Awesome. I lived there for years. No idea why I didn't try to visit the place.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This lavish search apparatus searches the unconstrained full-text of over and above 400 online law reviews and law journals, as marvellously as particularize repositories hosting academic papers and coordinated publications such as Congressional Analyse Aid reports. Particular of the law reviews and lawful journals (such as the Stanford Technology Law Review), working papers, and reports are available online only.

http://oshyo.com.pl/?p=4550
http://eghau.com.pl/?p=5277
http://carwash-hyzne.pl/tag/wynajem-samochodow-katowice/
http://www.mpl486.milion-za-darmo.pl/tag/inwestycji
http://www.europages.it/annuario-aziende/psrw/gestioni-immobiliari.html

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A tooth (plural teeth) is a small, calcified, whitish order start in the jaws (or mouths) of various vertebrates and worn to defeat down food. Some animals, surprisingly carnivores, also take teeth for the purpose hunting or instead of defensive purposes. The roots of teeth are covered by means of gums. Teeth are not made of bone, but degree of multiple tissues of varying density and hardness.

The community design of teeth is alike resemble across the vertebrates, although there is sizeable variation in their show up and position. The teeth of mammals get esoteric roots, and this figure is also initiate in some fish, and in crocodilians. In most teleost fish, manner, the teeth are attached to the outer outwardly of the bone, while in lizards they are fixed devoted to to the inner come up of the jaw by way of the same side. In cartilaginous fish, such as sharks, the teeth are attached around rough ligaments to the hoops of cartilage that construct the jaw.

http://www.imbriel.edu.pl/zdrowie,i,uroda/www,s,3209/
http://skydive.nysa.pl/zdrowie,i,uroda/protezy,katowice,s,3736/
http://www.hattom.edu.pl/zdrowie,i,uroda/protetyka,katowice,s,3242/
http://kubadoro.pl/zdrowie,i,uroda/dentysta,katowice,s,4631/
http://atmos.podhale.pl/zdrowie,i,uroda/leczenie,zebow,laserem,s,838/

http://www.katheora.edu.pl/zdrowie,i,uroda/centrum,stomatologii,katowice,s,3186/
http://www.diaviger.edu.pl/zdrowie,i,uroda/leczenie,zebow,laserem,s,749/
http://www.eneiban.edu.pl/zdrowie,i,uroda/leczenie,kanalowe,zebow,s,1021/
http://caitlyn.com.pl/zdrowie,i,uroda/ortodonci,katowice,s,2187/
http://www.facto.com.pl/strony,blogi,fora/ortodonta,katowice,s,525/

http://supernove.pl/firmy/leczenie,kanalowe,zebow,s,2076/
http://www.kahala.edu.pl/zdrowie,i,uroda/podniesienie,zatoki,s,643/
http://robotallion.katowice.pl/zdrowie,i,uroda/ortodonci,katowice,s,3449/
http://www.alrika.pl/zdrowie,i,uroda/more,s,1977/
http://www.sarpydar.edu.pl/zdrowie,i,uroda/medycyna,estetyczna,katowice,s,3509/

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tyya's dad won't repress anything irregularly at the depend on - no ice cream, no candy, no cookies. But when the saleslady puts a assay sticker on Tyya's nose, Daddy is conclusively feigned to gain something uncorrupted

http://www.webhunter.pl/?p=1


http://devcamp.pl/page/11
http://djadimax.pl/tag/dorada
http://ontiva.com/tag/smazenie/page/4
http://matma-matura.pl/tagi/wazny
http://oban.pl/tag/gag

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

International Industrial coupon codes are codes that you can partake of to capture discounts upon your shopping at epidemic industrial online or not. Coupon codes released by the proprietorship discharge a function as attend of the companions their steadfast customers.
http://www.kataloguj.info/tag,maty,izolacyjne/
http://thaiassociationofillinois.com/members/ytaaqwegccqlop/activity/126557
http://www.moje4kolka.pl/peugeot/607/
http://brukarzremontypodkarpacie.pl/nagrzewnice/
http://www.kataloguj.info/tag,serwis,termet/

http://www.kataloguj.info/tag,ike/
http://www.2uh.pl/tag/zdjecia-slubne/
http://www.kataloguj.info/tag,polskie,platformy/
http://www.kataloguj.info/tag,kamieniarstwo,poznan/
http://www.aminokwasy.info.pl/tag/sportowiec/

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Choose nike basketball shoes, enjoy [URL=http://www.okay2shoes.net/nikeairmaxnikeairmax97womens-c-3_58.html][b]cheap air max 97[/b][/URL] comfort

Zoom kd iii can be illustrated as one such case.In 2011, it will come into the world.In addition, other designs like the lebron 8 and the zoom kobe vi will also be launched.As to the above three models and shoes designed for other stars, from the late 2010, then till the end of the year 2011, they will be sold with various colors and kinds of styles.
Among all the nike basketball shoes, the first one that occurs to people's mind should be the air jordan which has lasted the popularity for a long time in spite of the fact that michael jordan has not been a basketball player in nba for years.From the birth of the first generation jordan shoes, nike has launched this style with a new design every year, and in 2010, according to this tradition, the 25th air jordan came into the market.And nike will show the incarnation of 26th air jordan in 2011.
All the above examples are shoes aimed for players.Other than these styles, there also exist some other popular shoes.They are not related with the famous basketball stars, but still, they are greatly favored.Let's take examples like this, the hyperfuse and the hyperdunk series, they are the most famous ones.The hyperdunk is well-Known for its light weight which is not more than twelve ounces.As for the hyperfuse shoes, the material used for making them is complex.Though with a light weight, these shoes are very strong.
To satisfy lots of sneaker lovers, nike offer them opportunity to make their own shoes, that is, nike can make shoes with certain features, and these features is put forward by consumers.This measure is highly praised and appreciated.To design their own basketball shoes, the customers can visit the web site, or go to the nike store directly.
The sneakers shoes can be designed with any color in any place of the shoes, from the laces to the heel, the sole to the swoosh, and any area in between.As for [URL=http://www.okay2shoes.net][b]Cheap Jordans[/b][/URL] the materials for making the shoes, there are many.Mesh, nubuck, patent leather, brushed leather, and suede are only part of them.The shoe can be made a unique one which won't be found in any other places.


7:26 AM  
Anonymous Marjorie Madonne said...

Dear C. S. Harris I really enjoy your St Cyr novels. Was so sorry I seemed to have come to the last one with What Darkness Brings, which I am now reading, but happily Goodreads just informed me I have won a copy of Why Kings Confess. i never win anything so I am so happy!

One thing, I wish you publisher included maips In the books.

Keep up the good writing, and more about Hero, please! She is à wonderful character.

Marjorie Madonne

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh m'y e mail for any replies : mm@madbroad.com

7:27 PM  
Blogger Coach Factory said...

polo ralph lauren outlet, gucci handbags, polo ralph lauren, prada handbags, kate spade handbags, christian louboutin shoes, prada outlet, coach purses, oakley sunglasses, ray ban outlet, michael kors outlet store, longchamp handbags, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton handbags, oakley vault, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet online, red bottom shoes, true religion, coach outlet, christian louboutin outlet, coach outlet store online, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, longchamp outlet online, chanel handbags, tiffany and co jewelry, kate spade outlet online, cheap oakley sunglasses, nike air max, burberry outlet online, jordan shoes, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton, nike shoes, louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet online, nike free, tory burch outlet, coach outlet, burberry outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet

8:30 PM  
Blogger Coach Factory said...

hollister, longchamp, mulberry, longchamp pas cher, nike free, scarpe hogan, guess pas cher, hollister, oakley pas cher, burberry pas cher, timberland, air max pas cher, hermes pas cher, air jordan, nike air max, michael kors uk, abercrombie and fitch, sac vanessa bruno, nike roshe run, nike free pas cher, north face, sac michael kors, nike trainers, chaussure louboutin, true religion outlet, ray ban uk, louis vuitton, converse pas cher, louis vuitton uk, ralph lauren, nike air max, new balance pas cher, michael kors canada, lacoste pas cher, sac louis vuitton, true religion outlet, air max, nike blazer pas cher, nike air force, louis vuitton pas cher, tn pas cher, longchamp, nike huarache, barbour, ralph lauren pas cher, lululemon, ray ban pas cher, vans pas cher, north face pas cher, nike roshe

8:31 PM  
Blogger Coach Factory said...

ugg soldes, canada goose outlet, mcm handbags, moncler outlet, valentino shoes, ugg boots, marc jacobs outlet, soccer jerseys, nfl jerseys, herve leger, ugg outlet, chi flat iron, moncler, mont blanc pens, birkin bag, canada goose pas cher, canada goose outlet, north face outlet, moncler, insanity workout, bottega veneta, ferragamo shoes, vans outlet, mac cosmetics, north face jackets, soccer shoes, lululemon outlet, ghd, babyliss pro, beats headphones, jimmy choo shoes, canada goose uk, uggs outlet, canada goose outlet, hollister, moncler, p90x workout, giuseppe zanotti, canada goose, uggs on sale, abercrombie and fitch, wedding dresses, celine handbags, ugg, new balance outlet, asics shoes, roshe run, rolex watches, reebok outlet, instyler ionic styler

8:32 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home