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17 Mar 2018

Human Wonders

Jan Bondeson. The Lion Boy and Other Medical Curiosities. Amberley Publishing (15 Mar. 2018)
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In this book of amazing oddities, the successor to his popular Cabinet of Medical Curiosities and The Two-Headed Boy, Jan Bondeson explores various surprising and bizarre aspects of the history of medicine: Does people’s hair go white after a sudden fright; can the image of the killer be seen in the eyes of a murdered person; does the severed head of a guillotined person maintain some degree of consciousness? Giants, dwarfs and medical freaks are paraded in front of the reader, to say nothing of Johnny Trunley, the Fat Boy of Peckham, who was a sensation in Edwardian show-business, and his various rotund rivals. Jan Bondeson combines a historian’s research skills with a physician’s diagnostic flair, as he explores our timeless fascination with the freakish and bizarre people and events in the colourful history of medicine.