The Chloroformist is the story of Joseph Clover and the invention of anaesthesia

By Frank O'Shea
July 16 2021 - 2:00pm
  • The Chloroformist, by Christine Ball. Melbourne University Press, $34.99.

In school physics, we met Maxwell and Faraday and Kelvin; our English classes introduced us to Dickens and Hardy, Keats and Coleridge. These were just some of the bigger boulders in the mountain that was British genius in the years when Victoria sat on the throne. But we heard nothing about the people who were, at the same time, changing medicine, and in particular what passed for surgery. Let us take a look.