The Professor of Secrets: Mystery, Medicine, and Alchemy in Renaissance Italy

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Overview

Set Against the Sumptuous Backdrop of Renaissance Italy, this riveting historical thriller explores the era's medicine and culture through the life of the world's first "celebrity doctor"-whose miracle cures and outsize personality drew both adoration and scorn.

The Professor of Secrets was Leonardo Fioravanti, a brilliant, forward-thinking, and utterly unconventional doctor. His marvelous remedies and talent for self-aggrandizement earned him the admiration of the people, the ...

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The Professor of Secrets: Mystery, Medicine, and Alchemy in Renaissance Italy

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Overview

Set Against the Sumptuous Backdrop of Renaissance Italy, this riveting historical thriller explores the era's medicine and culture through the life of the world's first "celebrity doctor"-whose miracle cures and outsize personality drew both adoration and scorn.

The Professor of Secrets was Leonardo Fioravanti, a brilliant, forward-thinking, and utterly unconventional doctor. His marvelous remedies and talent for self-aggrandizement earned him the admiration of the people, the derision of the medical establishment, and a reputation as one of his era's most colorful and combative figures.

Meticulously researched and engagingly written by Pulitzer Prize-nominated historian William Eamon, The Professor of Secrets entices us into a scientific underworld of sorcerers, plagues, and alchemy, where charlatans sold their wares in the streets, gunfire inflicted horrifying wounds, and surgeons attempted daring cures. The little-known story of the controversial doctor who practiced in an age when warfare was the surgeon's school will grip and fascinate all who take pleasure in Renaissance intrigue, the milestones of medicine, and the best of historical tales.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The author presents what medicine was like during the Renaissance with a wealth of unexpected details…and a light, accessible touch…that makes this book welcome reading not only for the summer but for any time of year.” —Los Angeles Times

“In this entertaining biography of Neapolitan physician and self-promoter Leonardo Fioravanti, Eamon gives a portrait of sixteenth century Italy that is far more realistic than that of those who follow the myth of the Renaissance.” –Book News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426206504
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 7/20/2010
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 775,897
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.42 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

William Eamon is a widely published, internationally known and respected scholar based at the University of New Mexico. His first book, Science and the Secrets of Nature: Books of Secrets in the Medieval and Early Modern Culture was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in history and won the History Book Award from the Association of American Publishers. He is co-editor of the excellently reviewed Beyond the Black Legend: Spain and the Scientific Revolution.

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Table of Contents

Prologue: Experience and Memory 7

1 Mia Dolce Patria 14

2 The Empire of Disease 22

3 Medical Bologna 34

4 Leonardo and the Anatomists 41

5 The Education of a Surgeon 48

6 The Road of Experience 57

7 The Carnival Doctor 62

8 The New Asclepius 69

9 The Marvelous Virtues of Precipitato 77

10 Chalatan or Wonder Worker? 86

11 An Ingenious Surgery 91

12 The Marvels of Naples 102

13 An Academy of Magi 111

14 The University of War 122

15 The Cardinal's House 134

16 A Surgeon in Rome 140

17 A Road Not Taken 150

18 Venetian Curiosities 157

19 The Lure of the Charlatan 166

20 A Writer for the Ages 175

21 Venice's Scientific Underworld 188

22 Mathematical Magic 196

23 The Search for the Philosopher's Stone 204

24 A Star is Born 210

25 The Medical Entrepreneur 219

26 Ambition and Glory 228

27 A Conspiracy of Doctors 242

28 Leonardo the Chameleon 250

29 Life and Art 259

30 In the Court of the Catholic King 266

31 Masters of Fire 277

32 The Charlatan's Trial 283

33 "Il mio sacco é vuoto" 294

34 The Judgment of History 302

Epilogue: Traces 315

Acknowledgments 320

Appendix 322

Notes 324

Bibliography 344

Index 360

Image Credits 368

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    I am a nursing major who has always found the history of medicin

    I am a nursing major who has always found the history of medicine to be a fascinating subject. For me, this was a wonderfully written book, showing not only details of procedures from the time period, but the politics that surrounded the issues of medicine as well. However, I cannot say that I recommend this for all, since many might find the subject boring, if they are not history nerds like I am. But if the history of medicine is what interests you, then I really do recommend this for you!

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    Posted December 5, 2010

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