In sickness and in health.
About this work
Adam Hart-Davis tours London's sites of medical-historical interest, starting with Broadwick Street and the water pump that Dr. John Snow identified as the source of the 1854 cholera outbreak. A brief history of St. Bartholomew's Hospital follows, and then on to the site of St. Mary's Hospital Spitalfields, where excavations revealed mass graves of 17th century plague victims. Then on to chelsea, and the origins of the Royal Hospital and the Chelsea Physic Garden, followed by a visit to the Herb Garret, once part of St. Thomas' Hospital. At St. Bartholomew's Hospital Adam Hart Davis refers to the work of the 16th century physician William Harvey, once chief physician to that hospital, who discovered the way blood circulates. He also examines Hogarth's painting of the Miracle at the Pool of Bethesda and identifies Down's syndrome, severe anaemia and advanced cancer among the figures in that picture. At Bunhill Fields he explains the economics of grave robbing and at the old operating theatre, St. Thomas' Street, he puts himself in the situation of a patient of 150 years ago undergoing a leg amputation. The tour concludes with a visit to Crossness Pumping Station where he pays tribute to the great public health work of Joseph Bazalgette who provided London with the sewage system which is the basis of the one in use today.