Health and Healing in Early Modern England: Studies in Social and Intellectual History, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Health and Healing in Early Modern England

Studies in Social and Intellectual History, 1st Edition

By Andrew Wear


344 pages

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Hardback: 9780860786900
pub: 1998-07-23

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The opening studies in this volume, on the revival of Galenic medicine in Continental Europe, provide the context for its focus - England in the 17th century. The author covers the discovery of the circulation of the blood, but it is the underlying components of health and medicine that form the subjects of this book. It deals, notably, with the strong link then perceived between health and the environment, perhaps even more present in people’s minds than today, with the relationship between medicine and religion, and with medical ethics. Further studies discuss the provision made for the sick poor, the popularisation of medicine, and the epistemological basis of learned or university based medicine. A theme throughout is the range of treatments available in the ’medical marketplace’ of the 17th century, from wise women to learned physicians.


'…the volume…stands as a testimony to Wear’s careful scholarship and the outstanding contribution which he has made to the history of medicine. Each paper is thoughtfully crafted and clearly written. For anyone interested in the intellectual history of medicine, this volume will prove particularly rewarding.' Canadian Journal of History, Vol. XXXV

Table of Contents

Contents: Galen in the Renaissance; Explorations in Renaissance writings on the practice of medicine; William Harvey and the ’Way of the Anatomists’ ; Making sense of health and the environment in early modern England; Religious beliefs and medicine in early modern England; Puritan perceptions of illness in 17th-century England; Medical ethics in early modern England; Caring for the sick poor in St Bartholomew Exchange, 1580-1676; The popularization of medicine in early modern England; Medical practice in late 17th-century and early 18th-century England: continuity and union; Epistemology and learned medicine in early modern England; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General