The Doctors Club
Politeness, sociability and the culture of medico-gentility
in Performing medicine
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Medical culture and identity in late eighteenth-century York took shape within a social landscape shaped by the values of gentility, polite sociability and civic belonging. The Doctors Club was the embodiment of a civic culture defined not by a guild-mentality of corporate exclusivity, but by the polite and civil values of cosmopolitan inclusivity and congenial clubability. The fraternal and convivial nature of the Doctors Club was evident in its two principal activities, eating and drinking. Relatively few eighteenth-century practitioners have left behind significant bodies of manuscript material which allow us to reconstruct the multidimensional aspects of lived experience. This is especially true for apothecaries whose relative lack of formal, scholastic education denied them access to some of the literary and cultural resources enjoyed by their medical colleagues. It is for this reason that the writings of Oswald Allen are so valuable.

Performing medicine

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

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