Doctor of Society: Tom Beddoes and the Sick Trade in Late-Enlightenment England, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Doctor of Society

Tom Beddoes and the Sick Trade in Late-Enlightenment England, 1st Edition

By Roy Porter


246 pages

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First published in 1992, this book explores how we come to hold our present attitudes towards health, sickness and the medical profession. Roy Porter argues that the outlook of the age of Enlightenment was crucially important in the creation of modern thinking about disease, doctors and society. To illustrate this viewpoint, he focuses on Thomas Beddoes, a prominent doctor of the eighteenth century and examines his challenging, pugnacious, radical and often amusing views on a wide range of issues concerning the place of illness and medicine in society. Many modern debates in medicine continue to echo the topics which Beddoes himself discussed in his ever-trenchant and provocative manner.

This book will be of interest to those studying the history of medicine, social history and the Enlightenment.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction 2. Life 3. The eighteenth-century medical milieu 4. The advancement of scientific medicine 4. The problem patient 6. Enlightenment and pathology 7. Cashing in on vulgar errors 8. Reforming the profession 9. Instructing the people 10. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: The History of Social Welfare

This set of 25 volumes, originally published between 1805 and 1992, amalgamates original nineteenth-century material and more recent research and analysis on the development of social welfare in Britain and Europe. From Elizabethan poor relief, through the Poor Laws of the nineteenth-century, to the establishment of the British National Health Service in the mid twentieth-century, this set provides a comprehensive overview of the germination and establishment of modern social welfare. Although the set mainly focuses on social welfare in Britain, it also contains some work on welfare in Europe.

This set will be of keen interest to those studying the history of social welfare, social policy, poverty and class.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HISTORY / Modern / 18th Century
HISTORY / Social History