An economy of knowledge
Social networks and the spread of medical information
in Physick and the family
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Medical knowledge was ubiquitous within early modern society, but this information did not exist in isolation. A medico-social network could involve family, friends, employers and employees, but also even bring together people of such disparate social classes as would normally preclude communications between them. Such networks crossed social and geographical boundaries and question previous depictions of Wales as being insular and remote. This chapter explores these networks and highlights the variety of means by which medical knowledge could spread. Medical information in Wales, as elsewhere, fell within the wider context of knowledge exchange through both oral and literate means since people derived their medical remedies from family and friends, neighbours, wider kin and medical practitioners. Consultations with practitioners provided another strong source of medical remedies and such remedies are much in evidence in Welsh collections.

Physick and the family

Health, medicine and care in Wales, 1600-1750


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