Performing Medicine::Medical Culture and Identity in Provincial England, c.1760-c.1850

Brown, Michael (2011) Performing Medicine::Medical Culture and Identity in Provincial England, c.1760-c.1850. Manchester : Manchester University Press, Manchester. ISBN 9780719077975

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When did medicine become modern? This book takes a fresh look at one of the most important questions in the history of medicine. It explores how the cultures, values and meanings of medicine were transformed across the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as its practitioners came to submerge their local identities as urbane and learned gentlemen into the ideal of a nationwide and scientifically-based medical profession. Moving beyond traditional accounts of professionalization it adopts a cultural historical approach to the subject, demonstrating how visions of what medicine was and might be were shaped by wider social and political forces, from the eighteenth-century values of civic gentility to the radical and socially progressive ideologies of the age of reform. Focusing on the provincial English city of York, it draws on a rich and wide-ranging archival record, including letters, diaries, newspapers and portraits, to reveal how these changes took place at the level of everyday practice, experience and representation. Performing medicine reveals the cultural and ideological roots of modern British medicine, including its emphasis upon the values of expertise and public service. It therefore has important implications for the way we think about medicine in the present day, especially in its relationship to the public and the state. As such it will be of interest to those who are concerned with British medicine's current state and future course and will prove invaluable to historians of medicine as well as to students of civic culture and the age of reform.

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05 Sep 2022 11:30
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12 Sep 2023 03:54