Qty:1
  • List Price: $19.95
  • Save: $4.73 (24%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very Good/None; Nice clean copy. No writing or highlighting. Unmarked inside and out. This item is fulfilled by Amazon and qualifies for Amazon Prime and Super Saver shipping.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

A Cabinet of Medical Curiosities: A Compendium of the Odd, the Bizarre, and the Unexpected Paperback – April 17, 1999


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$15.22
$13.59 $6.99


Frequently Bought Together

A Cabinet of Medical Curiosities: A Compendium of the Odd, the Bizarre, and the Unexpected + Mutants: On Genetic Variety and the Human Body + Freak Babylon: An Illustrated History of Teratology and Freakshows
Price for all three: $44.56

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (April 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393318923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393318920
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The history of medicine is a tale of human attempts to understand, explain, and predict the workings of nature. Sometimes those attempts can take strange turns, as Jan Bondeson shows in this diverting collection of medical oddments. A Cabinet of Medical Curiosities takes in matters such as stomach-dwelling snakes, not-unjustified fears of being buried alive, gigantism, lice-borne diseases, spontaneous combustion, and assorted monstrosities. Bondeson, a London-based medical researcher, combs out-of-the-way archives to populate his essays with strange case studies, among them the story of the California Indian Julia Pastrana, "a normal, intelligent woman of gentle disposition" who, owing to her unfortunate werewolf-like appearance, spent much of her life as a circus freak. Bondeson retells Pastrana's tragic tale, and many others, with sympathy and imagination. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA?This clutch of essays covers topics one is likely to see in supermarket tabloids: spontaneous combustion, premature burial, tailed people, and serpents living within the body. Bondeson presents these topics in their historical perspective, based on copious research and illustrated with archival drawings, and then explains the more likely cause for the phenomenon or belief. His dry wit makes for entertaining reading. The remaining essays describe some documented cases of human oddities?a giant, a two-headed boy, an extremely hairy and deformed woman, and a child no larger than a new-born infant?and illustrate the physical and emotional baggage carried by these unfortunate people. Notes for additional reading are provided for each chapter; there is no index. Thus, accessibility as a research tool will rely on detailed subject cataloguing, but the book is worth the effort because it provides teens with a source for accurate medical information about some unusual human conditions and ideas.?Carol DeAngelo, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is the one to read if you want to know more about spontaneous combustion, snakes living as parasites in the human stomach, two-headed people, tailed men, giants and dwarfs, and Julia Pastrana the Nondescript. The chapter on premature burial is particularly ghoulish and gruesome, and seems to have inspired a very good TV documentary on this subject, recently sent on the Discovery Channel. The author is obviously a medical scientist, but he has the rare talent of writing in a way that appeals to the general reader. Stylish, well written and with lots of amazing illustrations, this book is well worth its price.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I do not think this is the type of book you want to buy if you are looking for a book with alot of photos of "freaks". This is a book that describes amazing things that people once believed and then it gives some evidence as to whether or not it really happened. I bought a whole bunch of books related to medical curiousities and "freaks" and I find this one to be the most interesting out of all of them. It is so well written that it teaches you alot about folklore and history without boring you. In fact it is quite a page turner and I often have a hard time putting it down! I've read it over and over again.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Polkadotty on April 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
A compilation of some very interesting people and unexplained syndromes / phenomenon. Spontaneous human combustion, premature burial, bosom serpents (live animals taking up residence in the human body), the lousy disease which strikingly resembles today's Morgellon's scare, tailed people, giants, dwarfs, the two-headed boy of Bengal (whom today would have easily been rendered single by a simple operation), and two women of note, one who duped the most respected physicians of the day by apparently breeding "rabbits," and the tragic, touching story of bearded lady Julia Pastrana who suffered from two separate genetic disorders. Julia was a lovely woman outside of her appearance, and the way in which her life, and that of her newborn son, and especially their deaths were mishandled is criminal. The author writes in a kind, evenhanded tone that shows a respect for his subject matter and the intelligence of his readers. This book contains plenty of first-hand accounts and historical data which adds great interest and welcome factual background. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone with an interest in medicine and the strange ways nature and genes can combine. Note: The author mentions Gould and Pyle's ANOMALIES AND CURIOSITIES OF MEDICINE, published in 1897, as his inspiration for this book. This is available in its entirety on-line and is a riveting read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "botatoe" on April 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (and even more recently), medical and natural history museums combined elements of science and folklore with an infatuation for the bizarre and grotesque. Thus, they were often likened to the old-time "cabinet of curiosities", displays of disparate and unusual artifacts which bore no relationship to one another. A visitor to these museums often saw things which, in later years, became the staple of carnival side shows.
In "A Cabinet of Medical Curiosities", Jan Bondeson, a British physician who also holds a doctorate in experimental medicine, has written a fascinating and brilliantly executed textual analogue to the cabinet of curiousities. In successive chapters, Bondeson details, among other curiousities, the histories of spontaneous human combustion, apparent death and premature burial, maternal impressions (the belief that what a pregnant woman sees and experiences can cause corresponding alterations in the unborn fetus), and people with tails. Bondeson tells true, and not so true, stories of dwarfs and giants. He relates the story of Mary Toft, the English woman who, in 1726, was believed to have given birth to seventeen rabbits. And, of course, such a compendium of marvels would not be complete without a bearded lady--in this case, Bondeson narrates the remarkable life story of Julie Pastrana, who made appearances throughout the world in the mid-nineteenth century and whose mummified body (along with the mummified corpse of her infant child) continued to draw crowds at fairs and carnivals many years after her death.
While these topics may seem grotesque, even repulsive, Bondeson writes with deep feeling for his human subjects and a wry sense of humor for the foibles of his sometimes credulous profession. He also integrates these seemingly freakish and disparate topics into remarkably lucid and informative discussions of their place in the medical, scientific, religious, and literary discourse of their times.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (and even more recently), medical and natural history museums combined elements of science and folklore with an infatuation for the bizarre and grotesque. Thus, they were often likened to the old-time "cabinet of curiosities", displays of disparate and unusual artifacts which bore no relationship to one another. A visitor to these museums often saw things which, in later years, became the staple of carnival side shows.
In "A Cabinet of Medical Curiosities", Jan Bondeson, a British physician who also holds a doctorate in experimental medicine, has written a fascinating and brilliantly executed textual analogue to the cabinet of curiousities. In successive chapters, Bondeson details, among other curiousities, the histories of spontaneous human combustion, apparent death and premature burial, maternal impressions (the belief that what a pregnant woman sees and experiences can cause corresponding alterations in the unborn fetus), and people with tails. Bondeson tells true, and not so true, stories of dwarfs and giants. He relates the story of Mary Toft, the English woman who, in 1726, was believed to have given birth to seventeen rabbits. And, of course, such a compendium of marvels would not be complete without a bearded lady--in this case, Bondeson narrates the remarkable life story of Julie Pastrana, who made appearances throughout the world in the mid-nineteenth century and whose mummified body (along with the mummified corpse of her infant child) continued to draw crowds at fairs and carnivals many years after her death.
While these topics may seem grotesque, even repulsive, Bondeson writes with deep feeling for his human subjects and a wry sense of humor for the foibles of his sometimes credulous profession.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?