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Literature and Medicine in Nineteenth-Century Britain
From Mary Shelley to George Eliot

$41.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: June 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521066679

$ 41.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Janis Caldwell investigates the links between the growing scientific materialism of the nineteenth century and the persistence of the Romantic literary imagination. Through closely analyzing literary texts from Frankenstein to Middlemarch, and examining fiction alongside biomedical lectures, textbooks and articles, Caldwell argues that the way "Romantic materialism" influenced these disciplines compels us to revise conventional accounts of the relationship between literature and medicine.

    • Finds common ground in the history of nineteenth-century literature and medical science of the time
    • A truly interdisciplinary study as Caldwell is a trained medical doctor as well as a literary scholar
    • Caldwell demonstrates that medical diagnostic tools have much in common with narrative techniques
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "[a] broad-ranging and inventive engagement ... [a] very interesting and valuable contribution to the field of literature and medicine."
    Victorian Studies

    "Caldwell's book presents a well-articulated argument that traces the roots of Romantic materialism from the eighteenth century definitions of sympathy to Eliot's idealistic vision of the clinic. Her research is well documented" Journal of the History of Medicine, Marcia K. Farrell, University of Tulsa

    "With this monograph, Janis McLarren Caldwell makes an important contribution to literature and medicine studies...Her insights are astute, generous, and never overly clever or self-aggrandizing."
    Stephanie P. Browner, Berea College, Studies in the Novel

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521066679
    • length: 220 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.33kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: Romantic materialism
    2. Science and sympathy in Frankenstein
    3. Natural supernaturalism in Thomas Carlyle and Richard Owen
    4. Wuthering Heights and domestic medicine: the child's body and the book
    5. Literalization in the novels of Charlotte Brontë
    6. Charles Darwin and Romantic medicine
    7. Middlemarch and the medical case report: the patient's narrative and the physical exam

  • Author

    Janis McLarren Caldwell, Wake Forest University, North Carolina
    Janis McLarren Caldwell practiced emergency medicine for five years before pursuing a Ph.D. in English Literature. She now teaches literature and science at Wake Forest University, where she is an Assistant Professor of English. An expert in nineteenth-century literature and medicine, she has received grants for research at Cambridge University and at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

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