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November 30, 2020 at 9:41 pm #11117Berit FlynnGuest
Doctors and Doctoring in Eighteenth Century England
by Dorothy Porter, Roy Porter
- Author: Dorothy Porter, Roy Porter
- Publisher: Stanford University Press
- Release date: October 1, 1989
- ISBN: 9780804717441 (0804717443)
- Format: hardcover, 316 pages
- Language: english
About The Book
Premodern society in England was overshadowed by illness and the threat of death. Disease descended suddenly, selecting individual victims or attacking entire households and the community at large. What did people do when they fell sick? The authors investigate the well-established tradition of self-diagnosis and medication, called ‘family medicine’ or ‘kitchen physic’; the use of traditional healers, such as midwives, itinerants, and ‘wise women’; and the flourishing world of quacks whose nostrums promised to restore one’s youth or to cure cancer. Doctors and the medical profession were not held in especially high regard (‘If the world knew the villainy and knavery — besides ignorance — of the physicians and apothecaries, the people would throw stones at ’em as they walked in the streets’). The authors examine the problems and opportunities of practitioners in terms of treatments, renumeration, and social status and describe how practitioners tried to achieve ascendancy over their often suspicious patients. What did doctors have to offer the sick in the centuries before Victorian professionalization and the birth of scientific medicine?
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