Medical Fringe and Medical Orthodoxy 1750-1850: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Medical Fringe and Medical Orthodoxy 1750-1850

1st Edition

By W. F. Bynum, Roy Porter


278 pages

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First published in 1987. Even as the professionalism of medicine progressed, many sufferers continued to rely on what would now be termed "fringe" practitioners – quacks, backstreet surgeons, bone-setters, Thomsonian botanists, holists and naturalists. Many types of fringe medicine were popular in particular circles or reflected the political or religious preoccupations of their practitioners. Anti-establishment radicals might favour natural medicine, Christian Scientists would reject the medical aid, "Physical Puritans" would concentrate on homeopathy, hydropathy and vegetarianism to create health rather than counter disease. Some diseases, particularly venereal ones, allowed practitioners to play unscrupulously on the guilt of their patients. The end of the period saw professionalism establish itself in many areas, for example with the foundation in 1852 of the Pharmaceutical Society, and conflicts of fringe and orthodoxy became the fiercer.

The essays collected in this volume all present new research on this fascinating and diverse period in the history of medicine.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Treating the Wages of Sin: Venereal Disease and Specialism in Eighteenth-Century Britain W. F. Bynum 2. Publicity and the Public Good: Presenting Medicine in Eighteenth-Century Bristol Jonathan Barry 3. Orthodoxy and Fringe: Medicine in Late Georgian Bristol Michael Neve 4. ‘I Think Ye both Quacks’: The Controversy between Dr Theodor Myersbach and Dr John Coakley Lettsom Roy Porter 5. Property Rights and the Right to Health: The Regulation of Secret Remedies in France, 1789-1815 Matthew Ramsey 6. ‘The Vile Race of Quacks with which this Country Infested’ Irvine Loudon 7. The Orthodox Fringe: The Origins of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain S. W. F. Holloway 8. Bones of Contention? Orthodox Medicine and the Mystery of the Bone-setter’s Craft Roger Cooter 9 . Physical Puritanism and Sanitary Science: Material and Immaterial Beliefs in Popular Physiology, 1650-1840 Virginia Smith 10. Early Victorian Radicals and the Medical Fringe J. F. C. Harrison 11. Social Context and Medical Theory in the Demarcation of Nineteenth-century Boundaries P. S. Brown 12. Medical Sectarianism, Therapeutic Conflict, and the Shaping of Orthodox Professional Identity in Antebellum American Medicine John Harley Warner; Index

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: Science and Technology in the Nineteenth Century

This set of volumes, originally published between 1900 and 1994, amalgamates research on Science and Technology in the Nineteenth Century, including studies on notable figures such as Gregor Johann Mendel, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Sir Humphry Davy. This collection of books from some of the leading scholars in the field provides a comprehensive overview of the subject, how it has evolved over time, which will be of particular interest to students of history and the sciences.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General