Medical advertising and trust in late Georgian England

Hannah Barker, “Medical advertising and trust in late Georgian England,” Urban History 36, no. 3 (2009): 379-398. Baker brings sociological theories of trust to bear on the proliferation of medical advertisements in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in four English towns. Using a statistical approach, she evaluates what sorts of rhetorical strategies were … More Medical advertising and trust in late Georgian England

“The Most Difficult Part of Chemistry”

Noel G. Coley, “Physicians, Chemists and the Analysis of Mineral Waters: ‘The Most Difficult Part of Chemistry,’” Medical History, Supplement no. 10 (1990): 56-66. Coley approaches the historical practice of analyzing mineral waters as someone interested in the development and refinement of analytical chemistry techniques. This isn’t particularly useful for my research, but her work does provide … More “The Most Difficult Part of Chemistry”

Imperial Leather

Overall impression: If you’re looking for an example of intersectionality — the idea that gender, race, and class are categories that create and reinforce on another — this book is an excellent example of a history where those issues are addressed without losing any of their complexity. I really get what people are saying about … More Imperial Leather

Airs, Waters, Places

W. F. Bynum in Science and the Practice of Medicine in the Nineteenth Century traces early ideas about the social ecology of diseases to this important piece within the Hippocratic corpus. Of its importance to the history of community health, he says: “…the Hippocratic authors of this work (there were undoubtedly at least two) yoked together medicine, … More Airs, Waters, Places

A Science of Impurity

Christopher Hamlin, A Science of Impurity: Water Analysis in Nineteenth Century Britain (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990). In a case study of the political, social, cultural, and newly scientific conversation surrounding concerns about water quality in 19th century England, Christopher Hamlin shows that through the powerful claim at absolute, unbiased, and natural knowledge, science (especially chemistry) … More A Science of Impurity

The Great American Water-Cure Craze

Harry B. Weiss, The Great American Water-Cure Craze: A History of Hydropathy in the United States, (Trenton: The Past Times Press, 1967). Harry Weiss’s work provides an excellent starting point for anyone trying to grasp what hydrotherapy was, when it was prominent, and who practiced and promoted it. The book is full of facts, images, dates, … More The Great American Water-Cure Craze

The patient’s narrative & hospital medicine

Mary Fissell, “The disappearance of the patient’s narrative and the invention of hospital medicine,” in British medicine in an age of reform, eds. Roger French and Andrew Wear (London: Routledge, 1991). In this piece, author Mary Fissell traces the changing nature of the doctor-patient relationship in the 18th century through the narratives doctors and patients used to … More The patient’s narrative & hospital medicine