The Butchering Art

Skeleton Key Club Members Invited to a Grisly Affair

Jake Williams


This Friday, October 20, 2017, members of the Winchester Mystery House Skeleton Key Club are invited to an exclusive evening presentation and book signing with Lindsey Fitzharris, author of the new book The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine. The free event to SKC members will feature a reception of taste-tempting appetizers and beverages, a meet and greet, presentation and private book signing:

6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Winchester Room
SKC member reception

7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Winchester Room
Presentation/talk by Lindsey Fitzharris (author of “The Butchering Art”)

7:30 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. – Winchester Room
Book signing and meet/greet for SKC members with Lindsey Fitzharris

Space is limited so please be sure to RSVP to as soon as possible. We look forward to having you join us for what promises to be a fascinating evening.

In The Butchering Art, the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of nineteenth-century surgery on the eve of profound transformation. She conjures up early operating theaters―no place for the squeamish―and surgeons, working before anesthesia, who were lauded for their speed and brute strength. At a time when surgery couldn’t have been more hazardous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister, who would solve the deadly riddle and change the course of history.

Fitzharris dramatically recounts Lister’s discoveries in gripping detail, culminating in his audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection―and could be countered by antiseptics. Focusing on the tumultuous period from 1850 to 1875, she introduces us to Lister and his contemporaries―some of them brilliant, some outright criminal―and takes us through the grimy medical schools and dreary hospitals where they learned their art, the dead houses where they studied anatomy, and the graveyards they occasionally ransacked for cadavers.

Eerie and illuminating, The Butchering Art celebrates the triumph of a visionary surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world.