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Patients and Practitioners

Patients and Practitioners
Lay Perceptions of Medicine in Pre-industrial Society


Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Medicine

Roy Porter, Vivian Nutton, Andrew Wear, Lucinda McCray Beier, Adrian Wilson, Jonathan Barry, Johanna Geyer-Kordesch, Joan Lane, Ginnie Smith, Ghada Karmi
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  • Date Published: February 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521530613

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About the Authors
  • The essays in this volume provide an unusual historical perspective on the experience of illness: they try to reconstruct what being ill (from a minor ailment to fatal sickness) was like in pre-industrial society from the point of view of the sufferers themselves. The authors examine the meanings that were attached to sickness; popular medical beliefs and practices; the diffusion of popular medical knowledge; and the relations between patients and their doctors (both professional and 'fringe') seen from the patients' point of view. This is an important work, for illness and death dominated life in earlier societies to an enormous degree. Yet almost no studies of this kind have ever been carried out before, practically all previous treatments having been written from the traditional point of view of the doctor, the hospital, or medical science. It will accordingly interest a wide range of readers interested in social history as well as the history of medicine itself.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521530613
    • length: 364 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.532kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction Roy Porter
    2. Murders and miracles: lay attitudes towards medicine in classical antiquity Vivian Nutton
    3. Puritan perceptions of illness in seventeenth century England Andrew Wear
    4. In sickness and in health: a seventeenth century family's experience Lucinda McCray Beier
    5. Participant or patient? seventeenth century childbirth from the mother's point of view Adrian Wilson
    6. Piety and the patient: medicine and religion in eighteenth century Bristol Jonathan Barry
    7. Cultural habits of illness: the Enlightened and the Pious in eighteenth century Germany Johanna Geyer-Kordesch
    8. 'The doctor scolds me': the diaries and correspondence of patients in eighteenth century England Joan Lane
    9. Prescribing the rules of health: self-help and advice in the late eighteenth century Ginnie Smith
    10. Laymen, doctors and medical knowledge in the eighteenth century: the evidence of the Gentleman's Magazine Roy Porter
    11. The colonisation of traditional Arabic medicine Ghada Karmi

  • Editor

    Roy Porter


    Roy Porter, Vivian Nutton, Andrew Wear, Lucinda McCray Beier, Adrian Wilson, Jonathan Barry, Johanna Geyer-Kordesch, Joan Lane, Ginnie Smith, Ghada Karmi

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