This lecture explores some famous historical body parts, through the eyes of author Suzie Edge.

We’ve always used and abused bodies. We've torn them apart, dug them up, experimented on them or taken bits home as trophies. Body parts have been used for propaganda in wars and pulled off in punishment. They've answered medical mysteries, been turned into relics and even saved lives.

From Napoleon's penis to Van Gogh's ear, from Marie Antoinette's teeth to Marie Curie's bone marrow, Suzie brings together the remarkable stories of body parts that have made history, including how Queen Victoria's armpit helped to develop antiseptics; why Percy Shelley's heart refused to burn; and the strange case of Hitler's testicle.


Speaker Suzie Edge trained as a molecular biologist before moving to clinical medicine, to spend more time talking to people, rather than just bugs in test tubes. She went on to work as a junior doctor in a variety of medical specialties including infectious diseases, haematology, and trauma and orthopaedic surgery. She completed an MLitt in Modern History to feed her fascination for the history of the human body and the history of medicine.