If Leonardo da Vinci could have chosen to work in another time and place, he might well have picked eighteenth-century London. Two centuries after he had completed his remarkable anatomical studies, this city was the most advanced and exciting centre of anatomical discovery in the world. But as we’ll discover, anatomy was never just the private pursuit of physicians and surgeons. This was science conducted in the public gaze, and artists, aristocrats and the thrill-seeking demi-monde flocked to witness dissections, operations and lectures by the stars of the day. Join us for an unforgettable journey into the heart (and other organs) of Enlightenment London.

This walk has been written in association with the Queen's Gallery summer 2012 exhibition 'Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist'.

Tap ‘View Map’ to see the route and stops. Tapping the numbered syringes on the map will take you to each stop. Once you’re ready to go to the next stop, tap ‘Back’ at the top of the screen to return to the map. If you want to jump straight to a particular stop, use the links below ‘View Map’.

Distance: 1.8 miles / 2.9 kilometres

Start: Lincoln’s Inn Fields (nearest tube is Holborn)

End: St Bartholomew’s Hospital (nearest tubes are Farringdon / Barbican / St Paul’s)




MAP

1. Sensational Bodies - introduction

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2. The Hunter brothers

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3. Anatomy and the public

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4. Early modern surgery

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5. Hot off the press

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6. Anatomy and medicine

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7. Surgeons in London's history

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8. Anatomists and hangmen

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9. The 'resurrection-men'

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10. 'The Body-Snatchers' Arms'

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11. Anatomy in practice

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At the height of the Enlightenment a group of London surgeons took up Leonardo da Vinci’s pioneering anatomical work. But what did the Enlightenment mean to them, and how did they try to make new connections between the head and the hand?

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The Royal College of Surgeons is a monument to the social and intellectual aspirations of eighteenth-century surgeons. Here we’ll encounter the Hunter brothers, and discover how they became symbols of what surgeons might achieve.

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In the consumer culture of Enlightenment London, anatomical knowledge was a commodity to be bought and sold. This corner was home to the city’s most lurid and most successful anatomical wax museum, where the new anatomy rubbed shoulders with sex and celebrity.

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The story of Samuel Pepys’ bladder stone provides a chilling insight into the realities of early modern surgery. Here we’ll discover what Pepys went through, and what he decided to do with his stone.

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For centuries Paternoster Square was the centre of London’s publishing industry. Anatomists, surgeons and students came here to buy textbooks and crammers. But what could they purchase under the counter?

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Surgeons were not the first to dissect bodies in public. For centuries, physicians came to this corner to witness demonstrations of state power and classical knowledge. So what happened when the new Company of Surgeons began to claim a greater stake in London's outcast dead?

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In 1745 a house here on Old Bailey became the first headquarters of the Company of Surgeons. Here we’ll find out why this site – poor, grubby and overcrowded – was so important to the Company.

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Newgate Prison was notorious for its appalling conditions, and its flamboyant public executions. As we’ll see, the Newgate gallows had a hidden significance for London’s surgeons and anatomists.

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When the gallows at Newgate proved inadequate as a source of bodies, London’s anatomists turned to even less salubrious techniques for filling their dissecting tables. Here at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre without Newgate we’ll discover a striking piece of evidence for their activities.

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The Fortune of War, a tavern which occupied this site in the eighteenth century, sold much more than pints and pies. But how were London’s landlords and surgeons implicated in the grisly business of the ‘resurrection men’?

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By the late eighteenth century the ancient foundation of St Bartholomew at Smithfield was a citadel of the new anatomy. It had a dissecting room, an operating theatre, and dozens of medical students and apprentice surgeons walking the wards. Here, at the end of our walk, we’ll reflect on the lasting influence of the Hunters and their generation.

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