Performing Medicine

Medical culture and identity in provincial England, c.1760-1850

By Michael Brown

Performing Medicine
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  • Price: £19.99
  • ISBN: 9780719077975
  • Publish Date: Aug 2011
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Paperback -
  • Price: £19.99
  • ISBN: 9780719095573
  • Publish Date: Mar 2014
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Buy Now £19.99

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    Book Information

    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9557-3
    • Pages: 268
    • Price: £19.99
    • Published Date: March 2014


    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 professionalisation, it demonstrates 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' is a work of sophisticated research which presents a convincing account of the irrevocable changes to the cultures, values and meanings of medicine which occurred between 1760 and 1850
    Stephanie Snow, Reviews in History, 29/03/2012

    'Performing Medicine tells a surprisingly colourful tale economically and readably. It is a well-written book that illuminates many aspects of the social and cultural history of the greater transformation to which it was related. I recommend it.'
    David Rollison, Metascience

    'Performing Medicine is a theoretically sophisticated, carefully researched, and engagingly written account of medical culture and identity in provincial England from circa 1760 to 1850 ...Performing Medicine is an excellent addition to our knowledge of the making of modern medicine.'
    James Hanley, H-Albion, February 2013


    1. The Doctor's Club: politeness, sociability and the culture of medico-gentility
    2. Polite and ornamental knowledge: medicine and the world of letters
    3. The asylum revolution: politics, reform and the demise of medico-gentility
    4. The march of intellect: social progressivism and the transformation of provincial medicine
    5. Guardians of health: cholera, collectivity and the care of the social body
    6. True heroes and healers: expertise, authority and the making of medical dominion
    Epilogue: Pasts, present, futures


    Michael Brown is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Roehampton

    Performing Medicine

    By Michael Brown

    Paperback £19.99 / $29.95

    Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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