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Naval Warfare to Natal Care

A Brief Look at the Life and Work of Thomas Denman (1733-1815) - a Founder Contributor to Male Midwifery and Modern Medical Practice



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Naval Warfare to Natal Care by Colin McCall
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Thomas Denman was born in Bakewell in Derbyshire in 1733. Though having all the right intellectual and personal qualities to train as a physician, unexpected circumstances dictated that he was to struggle from early youth to access appropriate training. So for him the family tradition of medical service was delayed while he experienced service with the Royal Navy. But after nine years serving in the roles of surgeon's mate and surgeon, Thomas moved on to become one of the most respected medical tutors of his day. Internationally he still holds his place as a great pioneer in the field of midwifery and he made valuable observations that helped clarify the nature of puerperal fever and cancer. Fortunate to marry a woman of gentle and compassionate disposition, strong intellect, and a firm sense of personal worth, their marriage was to provide an immediate and extended family who graced medical care and social justice well into the nineteenth century. His son became Lord Chief Justice of England and in turn his family became passionate advocates for the abolition of slavery 'in all parts of the world'. This book unfolds the story of how Thomas moved from the rural surroundings of Derbyshire to become respected at the highest levels of London society and beyond. It traces his links with many well-known historical contemporaries such as Admiral John Byng, Lord George Byron, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, the pioneering physicians William Smellie and William Hunter, and the courageous and innovative female midwives of the time. It outlines how the surgeon's mate became a respected medical practitioner, medical author and medical crusader. In doing so it opens a window on the history of obstetrics and the changing nature of maternity care. As in the first two books in this series, "Naval Warfare to Natal Care" continues the combination of interesting detail and attractive sketches. The content and illustrations provide a lively interpretation of some fascinating aspects of naval and medical history.

Author Biography

Colin McCall spent over four decades in the fields of education and training. In the course of his career he served in a variety of senior professional roles and published articles and books on a number of educational topics. Previous titles in this series include Routes, Roads, Regiments and Rebellions: A brief history of the life and work of General George Wade and Crime, Cash, Credit and Chaos: A brief history of the life and work of John Law.
Release date Australia
March 18th, 2010
Illustrated by Martin Wellard
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
15 line drawings
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