Surgeon's remarkable and troubled life reads like a thriller

The Knife Man: The extraordinary life and times of John Hunter, Father of modern surgery By Wendy Moore Bantam Press €27.35.

19th March, 2005

John Hunter was one of 18th century London's foremost surgeons, anatomists andmedical educators. In addition to treating the poor in St George's Hospital, he was consultant to such luminaries asAdam Smith, Benjamin Franklin,Gainsborough and the young Lord Byron.

On his good days, Hunter was a profoundly original theorist, philosopher and medical writer. On his darker days, he was difficult, obstinate and mysterious. Popular rumour suggested he was involved in the underground practice of body-snatching,...

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