The Early Modern Commons

Search Results for "Unfortunate predicaments"

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Your search for posts with tags containing Unfortunate predicaments found 102 posts

Irritating the genitals by various means

One of the most popular stories on this blog is that of the nineteenth-century Frenchman who cut his own penis in two for sexual gratification. If you type the keywords ‘man cut penis two’ into pretty much any search engine, it’s the...
From: Thomas Morris on 24 May 2018

She swallowed a mouse

In 1833 one Dr Heymann, a doctor from the Westphalian town of Oldendorf, submitted a really rather extraordinary case to a German journal, Hufelands Journal der practischen Heilkunde. It is almost certainly without parallel in the medical literature,...
From: Thomas Morris on 14 May 2018

Cosmetic(s) surgery

This unexpected discovery was reported in a French journal, the Répertoire Generale d’Anatomie, in 1827. The patient was treated by Guillaume Dupuytren, the leading French surgeon of the day – although this was far from being one of...
From: Thomas Morris on 11 Apr 2018

Rare and peculiar

“How did it happen?” is a question every emergency physician will ask hundreds if not thousands of times during their career. The answer is usually mundane: “I fell off a ladder”; “I was playing rugby”; “I’d...
From: Thomas Morris on 20 Feb 2018

Show and tell

In 1828 The Lancet reported a routine meeting of the London Medical Society. It began with a memorable presentation given by William Shearly, a surgeon at the Royal Naval Hospital in Deal: After some ordinary business had been transacted, Mr. Shearly...
From: Thomas Morris on 18 Jan 2018

The lithophagus

Unless you’re a marine biologist, the chances are that you’ve never used the word ‘lithophagus’.  You may have eaten one, however: Lithophaga is a genus of mussels, some of whose species are edible, often served in a garlic,...
From: Thomas Morris on 15 Jan 2018

Born in a cesspit

This strange little tale appeared in the London Medical and Surgical Journal in June 1832:  A curious case of this description became the subject of investigation at the Bow-street Police Office, a few days ago. Interestingly, this crime...
From: Thomas Morris on 12 Jan 2018

The lucky Prussian

Maximilian Joseph von Chelius was a prominent 19th-century German surgeon who had a significant influence on medics right across Europe. His lectures were frequently quoted in the London and Edinburgh journals, and his textbook Handbuch der Chirurgie,...
From: Thomas Morris on 5 Dec 2017

An enormous eater

Albert Vander Veer was a distinguished New York surgeon of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A Civil War veteran, he was a notable pioneer in an age when operating inside the abdomen was almost a mission into terra incognita. An expert...
From: Thomas Morris on 1 Nov 2017

Mr Dendy’s egg-cup case

In 1834 the Lancet published a wonderfully unusual article by Walter Dendy, a surgeon from Blackfriars in London. The heading at the top of each page refers to it simply as ‘Mr Dendy’s Egg-Cup Case’ – a splendid description of...
From: Thomas Morris on 27 Oct 2017

Media vita in morte sumus

“In the midst of life we are in death”, in the words of the funeral service of the Book of Common Prayer. That sentence expresses the Christian notion that death is not the irrevocable end, but also a new beginning. Sometimes in medicine death...
From: Thomas Morris on 9 Oct 2017

He sliced his penis in two

This case sounds so implausible that you may start thinking it’s a spoof. I assure you it’s not: I came across it in Alfred Poulet’s Treatise on Foreign Bodies in Surgical Practice (1880), but it originally appeared almost a century...
From: Thomas Morris on 7 Sep 2017

An unfortunate couple

Johann Georg Steigerthal was an eminent German medic of the early seventeenth century. In 1715 he was appointed court physician the Elector of Hanover Georg Ludwig – otherwise known as George I of Great Britain. Steigerthal was also a Fellow of...
From: Thomas Morris on 30 Aug 2017

An unwelcome visitor

A short news item published in 1843 by the Gazette Médicale de Paris contains the sort of case that would give a hypochondriac sleepless nights. It was submitted by Jean Guyon, an eminent military surgeon who spent much of his career studying tropical...
From: Thomas Morris on 27 Aug 2017

The cheese knife lobotomy

This alarming headline was attached to a letter sent to The Lancet in 1838 by Dr Congreve Selwyn, a family physician in Cheltenham. His brief communication related the story of an unfortunate accident which had taken place in his practice some 17 years...
From: Thomas Morris on 30 Jul 2017

The seventy-year-old mother-to-be

Here’s a truly strange case that was reported in the Journal de Médécine de Paris in 1881. It concerns an elderly woman who was believed to have fallen pregnant. Such tales were commonly reported in the early medical literature –...
From: Thomas Morris on 28 Jul 2017

The case of the drunken Dutchman’s guts

On August 28th 1641 the 21-year-old English diarist John Evelyn visited the great university of Leiden in the Netherlands. He was unimpressed, declaring it ‘nothing extraordinary’, but one building took his fancy: Among all the rarities of...
From: Thomas Morris on 19 Jul 2017

A flaming nuisance

In 1886 a physician from Glasgow, Dr George Beatson, wrote to the British Medical Journal with a rather unusual tale. One of his patients had written to him to tell him about an alarming incident that had occurred early one morning: “A rather strange...
From: Thomas Morris on 12 Jul 2017

Hook, line and Lister

In 1844 the great surgeon Joseph Lister gave an influential series of lectures at University College London on the technique of surgery. The second lecture in this series, concerning operations on the neck, includes this unusual case: Occasionally you...
From: Thomas Morris on 7 Jul 2017

The monk with a perfume bottle stuck up his bottom

Today’s dose of medical mishap is excerpted from an influential textbook published in 1837 by George Bushe, a surgeon who died at the age of 39 and about whom little is known. Born and trained in Ireland, he emigrated to the US in his twenties and...
From: Thomas Morris on 19 Jun 2017

Notes on Post Tags Search

By default, this searches for any categories containing your search term: eg, Tudor will also find Tudors, Tudor History, etc. Check the 'exact' box to restrict searching to categories exactly matching your search. All searches are case-insensitive.

This is a search for tags/categories assigned to blog posts by their authors. The terminology used for post tags varies across different blog platforms, but WordPress tags and categories, Blogspot labels, and Tumblr tags are all included.

This search feature has a number of purposes:

1. to give site users improved access to the content EMC has been aggregating since August 2012, so they can look for bloggers posting on topics they're interested in, explore what's happening in the early modern blogosphere, and so on.

2. to facilitate and encourage the proactive use of post categories/tags by groups of bloggers with shared interests. All searches can be bookmarked for reference, making it possible to create useful resources of blogging about specific news, topics, conferences, etc, in a similar fashion to Twitter hashtags. Bloggers could agree on a shared tag for posts, or an event organiser could announce one in advance, as is often done with Twitter hashtags.

Caveats and Work in Progress

This does not search post content, and it will not find any informal keywords/hashtags within the body of posts.

If EMC doesn't find any <category> tags for a post in the RSS feed it is classified as uncategorized. These and any <category> 'uncategorized' from the feed are omitted from search results. (It should always be borne in mind that some bloggers never use any kind of category or tag at all.)

This will not be a 'real time' search, although EMC updates content every few hours so it's never very far behind events.

The search is at present quite basic and limited. I plan to add a number of more sophisticated features in the future including the ability to filter by blog tags and by dates. I may also introduce RSS feeds for search queries at some point.

Constructing Search Query URLs

If you'd like to use an event tag, it's possible to work out in advance what the URL will be, without needing to visit EMC and run the search manually (though you might be advised to check it works!). But you'll need to use URL encoding as appropriate for any spaces or punctuation in the tag (so it might be a good idea to avoid them).

This is the basic structure:

http://emc.historycarnival.org/searchcat?s={search term or phrase}

For example, the URL for a simple search for categories containing London:

http://emc.historycarnival.org/searchcat?s=london

The URL for a search for the exact category Gunpowder Plot:

http://emc.historycarnival.org/searchcat?s=Gunpowder%20Plot&exact=on

In this more complex URL, %20 is the URL encoding for a space between words and &exact=on adds the exact category requirement.

I'll do my best to ensure that the basic URL construction (searchcat?s=...) is stable and persistent as long as the site is around.