Jaipreet Virdi
Search for other papers by Jaipreet Virdi in
Current site
Google Scholar
Medicalising deafness in Victorian London
The Royal Ear Hospital, 1816–1900
in Disability and the Victorians
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

It was during the nineteenth century that specialist hospitals emerged, but medical specialisation was often ridiculed by general clinicians who took pride in having training and expertise that they felt equipped them to direct their skills at any kind of medical challenge. This chapter outlines the arguments put forward by those opposed to specialisation, tracing the evolution of the Royal Ear Hospital in London. It is a journey during which the scientific knowledge of the ear, and how to restore or improve its utility, made significant strides, but the hospital’s early battles evolved around establishing the medical credibility of its aural specialists. The chapter shows how specialist hospitals came to define the parameters of deafness as a disability or defect requiring a cure, how this perception has influenced wider societal views on the necessity of medical interventions ever since and how this is in stark contrast to counter views of deafness as a distinct cultural or linguistic identity.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

Disability and the Victorians

Attitudes, interventions, legacies


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 153 39 0
Full Text Views 20 13 3
PDF Downloads 23 17 4