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Sunday, June 2, 2019


Attack and capture of Belle Isle in 1761 by British forces*
I am reading The Knife Man by Wendy Moore, a book about John Hunter and the birth of modern surgery. After getting his fill of dissecting dead bodies in London, John decides he needs to start earning a living, so he joins the army as a surgeon just in time to embark on an expedition to capture Belle Isle.

While there he gets involved in all the usual army surgeon stuff of the 18th Century, i.e. hacking, slicing and stitching, to put it mildly. But being the kind of guy he is, he also makes some observations, one of which is that wounded soldiers are as often likely to heal without any treatment as they are if subjected to treatment by a surgeon. A case in point is a soldier "shot through and through the breast, recovered perfectly" (page 94).

Konya, Turkey, 1240 or thereabouts
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, deep into Season 4 of Ertugrul, one of the girls takes it upon herself to journey to Konya to stab one of the guys. We won't say who because spoilers

Concealed Stabber
Her weapon looks like a big ice pick, possibly because you aren't allowed to carry blades into the presence of Mr. Important (and an ice pick is easier to conceal?). She manages to stab him three times in the abdomen, twice from the back and once from the front. Tragically, in spite of these wounds, he manages to overpower and kill her. Unfortunately, he doesn't die.

Yes, it's a TV show where dozens of people are laid to waste in every episode, and primary characters recover from what appear to be fatal injuries, but still, I thought it showed a little thought by the people making the show. Stabbing someone with a knife blade would more likely have been fatal. Recovering from being stabbed by an ice pick is at least plausible.

I guess as long as you don't cut any major blood vessels, or impact the heart, any kind of injury isn't going to kill you. Of course, being as the body is riddled with major blood vessels, getting stabbed without hitting one of them is pure chance.

*Transcription of the text under the image:
R. Short del,                                                                                                                                                             J Smith sculp,
An exact Representation of the Attack made by the Britifh Fleet, under the Command of 
Adm.1 Kepple the 8th, of April,1761 at Port Andre, on the Island of Belle Isle.
London,Printed for Rob.t Sayer Print t;Mapseller,No.53 in Fleet Street.

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