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A Photographic History of Snakebite Treatments: Bad Medicine: Snake Oil, Potions, Elixirs and Kits by Bob Ashley, Charles F. Smith & Gordon W. Schuett.

We love to read.

We own a lot of books.

We also own an online bookshop. Handy right?!

But we realise that not everyone has spare money right now, and when you do, there are so many books to choose from and you don't want to waste your money. So, Scott and I thought we would do a monthly book review so our customers could find out a bit more information on a particular title and decide if it was for their shelves or not.  Well, this was my idea, Scott said it was a great idea and I suggested we take turns and he heartedly agreed. This is my fourth in a row (this is the fourth one “we’ve” done) and I’ve given up on the taking turns thing and have just decided to call them Tie’s book reviews.  

For our fourth book review I thought I would share my view on: A Photographic History of Snakebite Treatments: Bad Medicine: Snake Oil, Potions, Elixirs and Kits by Bob Ashley, Charles F. Smith & Gordon W. Schuett.

a book onSnakebite treatments throughout the ages

This is the latest publication by Eco Publishing (published November 2023). This publication has 171 pages that contain text and photographs – both full colour and black and white. It’s written in English and there are currently two different covers available. One is leatherbound, and the other is softcover. The leatherbound has a bigger price tag, but if you are a collector, well worth it as there is only a limited run on the leatherbound editions, and they usually have a smaller print run than the same book in either softcover or hardcover. The dimensions on the book are one Eco publishing has done a few times previously – with A guide to the Rock Rattlesnakes of Mexico and A Guide to the Rock Rattlesnakes of the United States. Whilst I like all these books, I’m not a fan of the book(s) dimensions. My only “gripe” with the dimensions is the way it sits on the bookshelf. I’m lazy and like glass doors on bookshelves so I don’t have to dust them. (We have quite a few bookshelves). With the book being as long as it is, it either has to sit spine down on the shelf, or pages down with the spine up (which I am worried about damage) or not have a door on the bookshelf. The book is 21.5cms high, just over 1cm thick and the length is just shy of 28cm – so it juts out a bit from the edge of the shelf.) Having said that, when you see a book done that way, you know instantly it’s an Eco publication.

Enough of my crappy domestication skills and onto why you’re actually reading this email.


The book starts off with a well written paragraph that amused me with its truth, especially in sentence of summing up the association of snakebite. From there you have a few pages of text that are a very interesting read, even if snakebite doesn’t interest you. I feel you would keep reading purely as the information presented would arouse your curiosity.

From then on in the rest of the book is large photographs of snake bite kits and detailed information about the kit, occasionally pictured is the snake a particular kit was supposed to heal you from. Lol proof that snakes aren’t out to kill you in my mind! If snakes were hell bent on a killing spree, it’s easy to see from what has been used throughout the ages to aid people in recovering from snake bites that the human population would be lower than it is!

I love this book.

4 different types of snake bite kits owned by Nature 4 You
4 snake bite kits the authors own.

I think it’s extremely interesting, the internal information and imagery is well executed (Okay I’m not the biggest fan of the sizing, but that’s just me and my dislike for housework!) The pictures are large enough to clearly see what was in the kit, and if possible instructions on administration. There are older images (I love the older stuff), adverts and cards – plenty of information to keep you informed, and best of all turning the pages. If we didn’t own a Neapolitan Mastiff with a paper fetish and a love for wiping his drool on walls and anything that is the same height as his mouth I would leave this one on our coffee table for anyone who comes over to browse through.

If you are looking at getting yourself a copy of this easy and enjoyable read, the link is:  https://www.wildlifedemonstrations.com/product-page/a-photographic-history-of-snakebite-treatments 



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the book "a photographic history of snakebite treatments sitting on a desk with a coffee cup and a pair of glasses

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