chapter  1
Democratic, divine and heroic: the history and historiography of surgery
ByChristopher Lawrence
Pages 47

This chapter examines the ways in which the story was shaped in the Anglo-American world, reviews works which suggest alternative approaches to surgical history, and outlines how it is possible to use Owsei Temkin's work to construct a model for writing the history of surgery. It explains the history and historiography of surgery. Victorian histories of surgery began to use the Romantic language of heroic, individual struggle which had increasingly appeared in the literature of science. F. S. Dennis's claims for the triumph of surgery were echoed in print by many other writers, by no means all of whom were surgeons. Renaissance and post-Renaissance surgery and thus of surgeons' accounts of themselves has been written in the light of relations between medicine and surgery in the nineteenth century. Historian who has consistently worried about the intellectual nature of the object of surgical practice is Owsei Temkin.