Pre-anaesthetic operative surgery required patients to exercise remarkable self-control and contemporary commentators often lauded the fortitude of those undergoing intensely painful and bloody operations. However, as this film shows, these values of bravery and sangfroid were increasingly associated with the ‘manly’ demeanour of British soldiers and sailors. As well as stirring patriotic sentiments, these ideas were linked to insidious and imagined hierarchies of race and served to present the inherent violence of British imperial conquest is a very particular way. With Dr James Kennaway and Dr Michael Brown.

Fortitude from Lily Ford on Vimeo.