Medicine and Mission
This witty and intelligently researched book will interest a wide range of readers; members of the medical profession and students for its coverage of nineteenth-century medical training and hair-raising surgical procedures; social historians for the coverage of an English upbringing (at Rugby School during the Flashman era) and the frenetic social life of the expatriate community, chief among whom was its protagonist Thomas Richardson Colledge, the pioneering doctor of the title.
Those intrigued by the Western missionaries’ compulsion to convert the Chinese to Christianity, and appalled by the questionable activities of the East India Company, will find both subjects treated in evenhanded terms.
Readers from the United States will learn about Salem, Massachusetts with its sinister witchcraft trials linked to the ancestral background of the beautiful but enigmatic Caroline Shillaber later to become Thomas’s bride.
All in all, this is a story of a man to whom it might well have been said, as the Chinese saying has it, ‘May you live in interesting times’.