Monday, September 22, 2014

Rich history brought to life

Very little is known about the life of Thomas Dent Mutter, the founder of the famous Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. With this book, Dr. Mutter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern MedicineCristin O'Keefe Aptowicz brings Mutter to life in extraordinary context to his times. 

Excellent research shows us the horrors of surgery in the world during the early 19th century and O'Keefe Aptowicz describes the procedures very graphically. We learn of Mutter's education and travels but sadly, very little about his wife, who only gets mentioned on six pages. It is difficult to research and find what has been lost though and O'Keefe Aptowicz fills in the gaps with fine historical details although she can get bogged down in occasional minutia and trivia. This is a wonderful book with an incredible conversational tone.

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