Review by Nick Bascom
The images in this survey of medicine prove an eclectic mix of the curious, the grotesque and the breathtakingly beautiful. Covering a wide array of medically related topics — such as cholera, childbirth and charlatans — the book presents the most captivating pieces from pharmaceutical entrepreneur Sir Henry Wellcome’s vast collection.
The equally engaging text reveals how Wellcome, a fascinating figure himself (“Born in a log cabin in Sioux Indian country … Wellcome ended his days as a knight of the British Realm”), set about using his fortune to acquire an enormous museum of medical artifacts.
The book feels like a guided tour through that museum. In addition to drawings, paintings and photographs, the authors expertly display and explain sculptures, carvings and myriad other artifacts to provide a comprehensive visual history of the medic