Disability in Eighteenth-Century England: Imagining Physical Impairment, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Disability in Eighteenth-Century England

Imagining Physical Impairment, 1st Edition

By David M. Turner


214 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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This is the first book-length study of physical disability in eighteenth-century England. It assesses the ways in which meanings of physical difference were formed within different cultural contexts, and examines how disabled men and women used, appropriated, or rejected these representations in making sense of their own experiences. In the process, it asks a series of related questions: what constituted ‘disability’ in eighteenth-century culture and society? How was impairment perceived? How did people with disabilities see themselves and relate to others? What do their stories tell us about the social and cultural contexts of disability, and in what ways were these narratives and experiences shaped by class and gender? In order to answer these questions, the book explores the languages of disability, the relationship between religious and medical discourses of disability, and analyzes depictions of people with disabilities in popular culture, art, and the media. It also uncovers the ‘hidden histories’ of disabled men and women themselves drawing on elite letters and autobiographies, Poor Law documents and criminal court records.

Table of Contents

Selected Contents: 1. Defining Disability and Deformity 2. Religious and Medical Perspectives on Disability 3. Stereotypes and Cultural Representation 4. Visibility and Visualisation: Seeing the Disabled 5. Disabled Lives and Letters 6. Narratives of the Disabled Poor

About the Author

David M. Turner is Senior Lecturer in History at Swansea University.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Modern British History

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HISTORY / Modern / 17th Century
HISTORY / Social History