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Charitable Knowledge

Charitable Knowledge
Hospital Pupils and Practitioners in Eighteenth-Century London

Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Medicine

  • Date Published: June 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521525183


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About the Authors
  • Charitable Knowledge explores the interconnections between medical teaching, medical knowledge, and medical authority in eighteenth-century London. The metropolis lacked a university until the nineteenth century, so the seven major voluntary hospitals - St Bartholomew's, St Thomas's, Guy's, the Westminster, St George's, the Middlesex, and the London - were crucial sites for educating surgeons, surgeon-apothecaries, and visiting physicians. Lawrence explains how charity patients became teaching objects, and how hospitals became medical schools. She demonstrates that hospital practitioners gradually gained authority within an emerging medical community, transforming the old tripartite structure into a loosely unified group of de facto general practitioners dominated by hospital men. As hospital physicians and surgeons became the new elite, they profoundly shaped what counted as 'good' knowledge among medical men, both in the construction of clinical observations and in the proper use of science.

    • Addresses a key period in the development of modern medicine
    • Will be of great interest to historians of medicine, education, and London
    • Explores how charity patients became teaching objects and how hospitals became medical schools
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In a study no less rich in its evocation of social change than assured in its grasp of medical history, Susan Lawrence traces the emergence of modern hospital medicine in London. Soon scholars will be wondering how they did without such a book for so long.' Roy Porter, Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine

    'A thoroughly engaging and theoretically nuanced exploration of how hospital medicine became the wellspring of social, intellectual, and pedagogic authority in the medical world of eighteenth-century London. Written with clarity and subtlety ... Professor Lawrence has compellingly captured the cultural sea change from early modern to modern medicine.' John Harley Warner, Yale University

    'Susan Lawrence's study of learning and practicing medicine in Georgian London is, quite simply, wonderful. Based on an unprecedented range of printed and manuscript sources, her volume skillfully dissects the whole vibrant medical scene. It is crammed with vignettes of the great and the ordinary and is an example of the social history of medicine at its very best.' W. F. Bynum, Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine

    'I would thoroughly recommend this book as an excellent read and collation of medico-historical information.' John M. T. Ford, Lancet 'The sophisticated narrative not only displays the author's erudition and awareness of historical concerns, but is enhanced by well-presented quantitative information.' Caroline Hannaway, Medical History

    'Susan C. Lawrence's culmination of a decade's worth of methodical and prodigious research into the cultural milieu of eighteenth-century London 'hospital medicine' has been well worth the wait.' Philip K. Wilson, Times Higher Education Supplement 'Lawrence's work is distinguished by its exhaustive approach to the careers and connections of the medical men who established the elite status of the London hospitals. Her approach is considerably more quantitative than many earlier writings on the hospitals, and the work is the more admirable in that it makes excellent sense of conventional reports which are frequently dry and uninformative when tackled simply as literary texts … impressive account.' Anne Crowther, The Times Literary Supplement

    ' … fascinating and very readable …'. John Ellis, The Pharos

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521525183
    • length: 408 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 11 b/w illus. 56 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of tables and figures
    1. Introduction: hospital medicine in eighteenth-century London
    Part I. Institutions and Education:
    2. The London hospitals: virtue and value
    3. The corporations, licensing and reform, 1700–1815
    4. Walking the wards: from apprentices to pupils
    5. London lecturing: public knowledge and private courses
    Part II. Community and Knowledge:
    6. Gentlemen scholars and clinical cases, 1700–60
    7. London hospital men and a medical community, 1760–1815
    8. Hospital men make medical knowledge, 1760–1815

  • Author

    Susan C. Lawrence, University of Iowa

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