a curious invitation last tuesday society
a curious invitation robert carlyles house last tuesday society national trust london
Iain Sinclair national Trust Walking the Ginger Line

THE MESMERIST - A Society Doctor and his Victorian Freak Show
with Wendy Moore

Tuesday 10th July 2018
Doors open at 6:30 pm, Talk commences at 7:00 pm and ends at 8:00 pm

Medicine, in the early 1800s, was a brutal business. Operations were performed without anaesthesia while conventional treatment relied on leeches, cupping and toxic potions. The most surgeons could offer by way of pain relief was a large swig of brandy.

Onto this scene came John Elliotson, a dazzling new hope of the medical world. Charismatic and ambitious, he quickly rose to the top of his profession and became instrumental in founding the North London Hospital (later UCH) for the London poor. He championed a host of medical discoveries such as quinine and the stethoscope but it was his studies into mesmerism as a cure for epilepsy that would lead to an obsession that would take the nation by storm.

In this talk, Wendy Moore relates Elliotson's extraordinary story exploring how his public demonstrations of mesmerism at UCH transmogrified into a Victorian freak show that people flocked to watch.  Here Moore discovers fundamental questions about the fine dividing line between medicine and quackery, between science and superstition, in a Victorian society bedazzled by the magic of the music hall

Wendy Moore
Wendy Moore is a freelance journalist and author. Her first book, The Knife Man, won the Medical Journalists' Association Consumer Book Award in 2005 and was shortlisted for both the Saltire and Marsh Biography Awards. Her second book, Wedlock, has been highly acclaimed in reviews and was chosen as one of the 10 titles in the Channel 4 TV Book ClubHow To Create The Perfect Wife was published to rapturous reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.

Tickets £15 including a glass of prosecco. Please click here to buy.




3rd May 2018
Madame Blavatsky: Esoteric Philosopher and the Mother of Modern Spritualism

7th June 2018
Village Magic and Witchcraft with Ronald Hutton

10th July 2018
The Mesmerist - A Society Doctor and his Victorian Freak Show

13th September 2018
Tiger Woman - Betty May and Sex, Drugs and Satanism in Bohemian London with Celine Hispiche

Carlyles house
thomas carlyle's house national trust london