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September 17, 1973

Iconographia Gyniatrica: A Pictorial History of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Author Affiliations

Rush Medical College Chicago


by Harold Speert, 540 pp, 929 illus, $40, F. A. Davis Co., 1973.

JAMA. 1973;225(12):1537. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220400063030

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Harold Speert has long exhibited an intense interest in the history of obstetrics and gynecology. His latest and most extensive effort, Iconographia Gyniatrica, A Pictorial History of Gynecology and Obstetrics, contains 929 illustrations of various forms of visual human expression, ranging through picture post cards, cartoons, to classic works of art. The legends and text vary from a simple description to succinct, detailed exposition into which Speert inserts his dry wit appropriately. Actually, the book covers a broader scope than obstetrics and gynecology. The author included illustrations concerning religion, embryology, teratology, and mythology.

One would have liked a more critical arrangement. The layout of illustrations, legends, and text is occasionally difficult to follow. The reader can easily get confused in deciding which legend is attached to which figure. More consistency could have been applied to the size of the reproductions, for some simple line drawings filled whole pages, and some