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Anatomia uteri humani gravidi tabulis illustrata / auctore Gulielmo Hunter ... The anatomy of the human gravid uterus exhibited in figures / by William Hunter (Birmingham, 1774) Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, Northwestern University, Evanston.
by William Hunter (Scottish, 1718—1783)
About the Book:
Like William Smellie, William Hunter (1718—1783). was also Scottish. In fact, he briefly stayed with Smellie when he first arrived in London in 1741. But he soon moved away, eventually becoming an assistant to James Douglas, another Scottish man midwife. Hunter went on to forge a unique practice and career for himself, becoming the premier man midwife in England. Unlike Smellie who mostly treated the middle and lower class patients in London and who used forceps in his practice, Hunter secured his reputation by eschewing forceps and by becoming a fashionable man–midwife to the London elite, eventually becoming Physician Extraordinary to Queen Charlotte, wife of George III. Hunter also began offering private courses in anatomy for which he eventually became very famous (such illustrious figures as Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, and Edward Gibbon often attended his lectures). But it was his publication of an elephant folio entitled Anatomia uteri humani gravidi tabulis illustrata/The anatomy of the human gravid uterus exhibited in figures (Birmingham, 1774), that most firmly established Hunter’s credentials as both an anatomist and obstetrical physician. Like William Smellie’s similar publication, Hunter’s elephant folio contained large–scale prints after drawings by the artist Jan van Rymsdyk and also depicted the dissected pregnant uterus. Unlike Smellie’s atlas, however, Hunter’s did not dwell on practical midwifery, but focused solely on pictures of dissection.

Related Essays:
“Dissecting Pregnancy in 18th—Century England”

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