Tag Archives: Ireland

Abraham Colles—giant among surgeons

Abraham Colles. Source. Abraham Colles was born in Kilkenny in Ireland in 1773. The story has it that as a boy he found an anatomy book in a field after a flood had destroyed a doctor’s house. He took the book to his owner, a Dr. Butler, who, finding he was so interested in it, […]

Bad blood: the drama of bloodshed

Emily Boyle Dublin, Ireland   Lucia’s mad scene – Rachelle Durkin as Lucia during The Chautauqua Opera’s dress rehearsal for Lucia di Lammermoor. Photo by Michelle Kanaar In some professions, bloodstained clothing is a normal part of the job. The two jobs that come to mind principally are a butcher and a vascular surgeon, although […]

Did Macbeth have syphilis?

Eleanor J. Molloy Dublin, Ireland   Gerard De Lairesse suffered from congenital syphilis. Image: Portrait of Gerard de Lairesse. Rembrandt van Rijn. 1665–67. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Public Domain. Introduction Syphilis was endemic in Elizabethan England and it was estimated that nearly 20% of the population of London were infected.1 The signs and symptoms […]

Dominic Corrigan (1802-1880)

In the days when students were expected to have at least a smattering of medical history, they would have known that Corrigan’s sign and pulse were indicative of aortic regurgitation and would have guessed that Corrigan was Irish. Very few, if any, would have known about Corrigan’s cirrhosis, Corrigan’s button, or the maladie de Corrigan.1 […]

‘The lament of the Old Woman of Beare’—contrasting the passage of life

Basil Brooke Johannesburg, South Africa   Hag’s Head (Ceann Cailli) © Bob Jones   It is well for an island of the great sea: flood comes to it after its ebb; as for me, I expect no flood after ebb to come to me. Today there is scarcely a dwelling-place I could recognize; what was […]