Surgical Case-Histories from the PastBMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6962.1171 (Published 29 October 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1171
- N Mamode
Harold Ellid Royal Society of Medicine Press, £20, pp 244 ISBN 1–85315–222–6
From the Bible to the Bhagavadgita, historical narrative has formed a central part of our collective psyche. There is a sense in which stories become important precisely because they define us and our current experience, as well as our relationship with the past. Perhaps that is why Harold Ellis's collection of surgical case histories is not only an immensely enjoyable but also an important book.
There is nothing new about historical surgical texts, but this wonderfully understated presentation of some 40 intriguing histories allows the uncertainty and sense of adventure in the original descriptions to come across quite clearly. The reader is inevitably drawn into the surgeon's …