Q4-Study Sources D and E
Which of Sources D or E is more useful to the historian who is investigating surgical practice in the 1870s?
Both Sources D and E are useful to the historian who is investigating surgical practice in the 1870s, however only to a certain extent because both sources explain a few of the negatives and positives of surgical practice. In source D, it says that ‘it took too long to keep washing everything’ and how people who would think of new ideas in surgical practice were often regarded as ‘odd’. This evidence shows us that surgical practice at the time may have been a more negative experience rather than a positive one. Source E, on the other hand, talks a little less broadly about surgical practice as it explains, like source D, ‘infection was as common as ever’ and talks about the transitions from one operating theatre to the next.
However, sources D and E are only useful to a certain extent as both sources tell us only one aspect surrounding surgical practice when there were many others. Both sources talk about infection in surgical practice and how it was an obstacle which mainly surrounds the negatives of surgery. This information is only useful to a certain extent as we are not told the positives of surgical practice and whether there were other factors that affected surgery at the time.
Only one of the sources seem of reliable provenance as Source D is a book called History of Medicine written at a time further away from the 1870s than when source E was written. Although Source D was written by someone who we can not tell had any medical experience, we understand that, this being a book based on Medicine as a whole, it would have been reliable and checked by other professionals. On the other hand, Source E was an account that was remembered by a man in surgical practice 56 years later and so surgical practice was changing immensely at the time and could have altered his opinion. It is also only an