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“Caesar of the Salpêtrière” J.-M. Charcot's impact on Psychological Medicine in the 1880s

  • William Parry-Jones (a1)
Extract

The year 1887 is memorable in medical history for the painting depicting ‘Une leçon du Docteur Charcot à la Salpêtrière’ by André Brouillet (1857–1914), a pupil of Gérôme. Lithographs by Eugene Pirodon of this painting were much reproduced and Sigmund Freud hung a copy in his consulting room. In fact, Freud had travelled from Vienna to Paris, in October 1885, to observe the work of Jean-Martin Charcot at the Salpêtrière. Charcot's views about hysteria and hypnosis were to have a formative and enduring influence on Freud, who returned home, four and a half months later, as one of Charcot's unqualified admirers and champions. It is timely, exactly a century later, to reflect on Charcot's work and influence, when his career was at its zenith and, in particular, to consider his impact on British psychological medicine.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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1. Janet, P. (1925) Psychological Healing. A Historical and Clinical Study, Vol. I. New York: Macmillan, pp 151207.
2. Charcot, J.-M. (1886–90) Oeuvres complètes de J.M. Charcot (Eds. Bourneville, M.M.D. et al) 9 vols. Paris: Bureaux du Progrès Medical.
3. Freud, E. L. (1970) Letters of Sigmund Freud, 1873–1939. London: Hogarth Press, p. 196.
4. British Medical Journal (1983) 2, 1014.
5. Guillain, G. (1959) J.-M. Charcot, 1825–1893: His Life—His Work. (Ed. & trans. by Bailey, P.). London: Pitman Medical.
6. Owen, A. R. G. (1971) Hysteria, Hypnosis and Healing: The Work of J.-M. Charcot. London: Dennis Dobson.
7. Ellenberger, H. F. (1970) The Discovery of the Unconscious: The History and Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry. London: Allen Lane.
8. Chertok, L. (1984) On the centenary of Charcot: Hysteria, suggestibility and hypnosis. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 57, 111120.
9. Notes and News (1880) Notes of a visit to Professor Charcot's wards. Journal of Mental Science, 26, 131134.
10. Reviews (1884) Lectures on the localisation of cerebral and spinal diseases. By Professor Charcot. Journal of Mental Science, 30, 287288.
11. Reviews (1888) Leçons sur les maladies du système nerveux faites à la Salpêtrière. Par J.M. Charcot. Journal of Mental Science, 33, 576583; and (1888) Ibid. 34, 113–116.
12. Robertson, G. M. (1892) Hypnotism at Paris and Nancy. Notes of a visit. Journal of Mental Science, 38, 494531.
13. Reviews (1882) Études Cliniques sur l'hystéro-épilepsie, ou grandes hystéric by Dr Paul Richer. Brain,iv, 507517.
14. Editorial (1893) Charcot and hypnotism. British Medical Journal, 2, 479480.
15. Obituary (1893) Professor Charcot. Ibid., 495496.
16. Tuke, D. H. (1892) A Dictionary of Psychological Medicine, Vol. I. London: Churchill, pp. 606610 & 627–641.
17. Freud, S. (1893) Charcot. In Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (trans. Strachey, J.). Vol. 3. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 1123.
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“Caesar of the Salpêtrière” J.-M. Charcot's impact on Psychological Medicine in the 1880s

  • William Parry-Jones (a1)
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