Lives and limbs : re-membering Robert Jones : a biography
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This is a biography of Robert Jones, 1857-1933. He was a surgeon, and is credited with bringing orthopaedics from its quack past into its scientific present. This work explores Jones’ life and times, and examines whether he is entitled to the epithet ‘father of orthopaedics’. It looks at the history of bonesetting, the influences on Jones’ development and medical training, and some key moments in his career – notably his involvement in the building of the Manchester Ship Canal, the planning of Heswall Children’s Hospital, and the Great War. It argues that although there are other medical men who could have been credited with fathering orthopaedics, he is indeed the father – at least of orthopaedics in Britain, if not internationally. This version of Jones’ life begins with something of his biographer’s journey, before it explores what and who influenced Jones, and in turn what his legacy has been to the medical profession. The accompanying Critical Commentary explores whether or not it is possible to offer a definition of biography as a genre in the light of its history and purpose. It examines critical views, considers the mythology that grows up around historical figures, and also explains the rationale for the structure chosen for organising the material presented in this new biography of Robert Jones, Live and Limbs: Re-membering Robert Jones.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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