Uncovering the secrets of pioneering doctors’ gardens

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Two pioneering eighteenth-century doctors and the unusual uses to which they put their gardens are the focus of a new study by a Bristol University historian.

Funded by a grant from the Wellcome Trust, Dr Clare Hickman of the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology will investigate how surgeon John Hunter (1728-93) and vaccination pioneer Edward Jenner (1749-1823) used their gardens to further their outstanding medical activities.

John Hunter’s garden at Earl’s Court, London housed a menagerie of exotic and domestic animals that he employed for observation, experimentation and dissection – activities which were directly related to his pioneering surgical work. This garden eventually took on mythological status: in one illustration produced soon after Hunter’s death a two-headed beast is shown wandering around it.

Via University of Bristol

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