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Victorian medical men could suffer numerous setbacks on their individual paths to professionalisation, and Thomas Elkanah Hoyle's career offers a telling exemplar. This book addresses a range of the financial, professional, and personal challenges that faced and sometimes defeated the aspiring medical men of England and Wales. Spanning the decades 1780-1890, from the publication of the first medical directory to the second Medical Registration Act, it considers their careers in England and Wales, and in the Indian Medical Service. The book questions the existing picture of broad and rising medical prosperity across the nineteenth century to consider the men who did not keep up with professionalising trends. Financial difficulty was widespread in medical practice, and while there are only a few who underwent bankruptcy or insolvency identified among medical suicides, the fear of financial failure could prove a powerful motive for self-destruction. The book unpicks the life stories of men such as Henry Edwards, who could not sustain a professional persona of disinterested expertise. In doing so it uncovers the trials of the medical marketplace and the pressures of medical masculinity. The book also considers charges against practitioners that entailed their neglect, incompetence or questionable practice which occasioned a threat to patients' lives. The occurrence and reporting of violent crime by medical men, specifically serious sexual assault and murder is also discussed. A tiny proportion of medical practitioners also experienced life as a patient in an asylum.

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besetting disinterested and manly professionals in a smoothly functioning polity. This research offers a fine-grained analysis of the challenges to medical careers based on multiple case studies featuring a measure of ‘failure’ and the questions this also raises about the nature and construction of medical masculinity. Retrieving these cases has swept up over 1,800 men who encountered one or multiple difficulties. The majority of these practitioners – over 1,000 – were identified in the context of financial hardship, but large cohorts were also uncovered among men thought

in Medical misadventure in an age of professionalisation, 1780–1890
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and GMC recognition, plus attributes of Victorian middleclass masculinity including a respectable marriage, and still have fallen short. Admittedly Hoyle was probably disadvantaged or disturbed by 2 Medical misadventure his father’s example – Hoyle senior was also a practitioner and had faked his own abduction and murder in 1845 – but the two different accounts of his life illustrate the positive ways that even problematic medical careers might have been read in the past.6 A better understanding of the professionalising process in medicine requires attention to

in Medical misadventure in an age of professionalisation, 1780–1890

-bending ­behaviours. The chapter also analyses how some of these behaviours can be seen as being gendered in nature: nurses  were not simply  passing as nurses, they enacted ­particular types of masculinity and ­femininity which they deemed to be ­appropriate to evade being caught or s­ uspected of disobeying those in authority. 179 ‘Curing queers’ Subversion and nursing Subversive practice on the part of nurses is not a new phenomenon. While it was established in Chapter 3 that many nurses under Nazi rule engaged in some barbaric and unethical practices by obeying orders from

in ‘Curing queers’
Prosthesis user-inventors and the market for assistive technologies in early nineteenth-century Britain

 –​along with the nearly fifty newspaper and magazine reviews it inspired around the globe –​ provides the exciting opportunity to explore the technological productions, entrepreneurial strategies and personal experiences of one prosthesis user-​ inventor in early nineteenth-​century Britain. In addition, attending to the gendered and class-​based assumptions embedded in Derenzy’s text contributes to historical understandings of the relationships between disability and masculinity, discussed by Ryan Sweet in Chapter 5, and between disability and social respectability

in Rethinking modern prostheses in Anglo-American commodity cultures, 1820–1939
Narratives of the Indian Medical Service

professionalisation per se.1 In contrast to the literature, however, this chapter shifts the perspective by considering the conflicts inherent in Indian service for men participating in a reforming, professionalising career. It does not merely repeat the claims of Terrence Johnson that salaried service inhibited the development of a specifically professional culture, but unpicks in detail the tensions between individual ambition, Company conditions, professionalising impulses, and the emotional range of medical masculinity.2 The chapter argues that a posting to India might at first

in Medical misadventure in an age of professionalisation, 1780–1890
Causing harm

to juries’ propensity to find in favour of those defendants with the highest conformity to respectability.4 158 Medical misadventure Medical practitioners might arguably have faced a parallel dilemma when making decisions about their own deportment, because professionalism might contradict or be undermined by the imperatives (or at least the permitted scope) of masculinity. In the eighteenth century, violence had been regarded as a natural component of masculine behaviour. Aggressive conduct might be regrettable, damaging or criminal but certainly did not

in Medical misadventure in an age of professionalisation, 1780–1890
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Politeness, sociability and the culture of medico-gentility

likely to have been inculcated into a culture of homosocial masculinity. Drinking occupied an ambivalent place within Georgian society, even within homosocial culture. Some commentators argued that the intoxication brought on by excessive drinking resulted in the individual ‘unmanning’ and humiliating himself, while others, like the artist and club-frequenter, Joshua Reynolds, maintained that moderate drinking (however that was defined) was a vital component of male sociability. This contradiction was personified in the character of James Boswell. In his diary, Boswell

in Performing medicine

’.23 Authoritative masculinity, by implication, is sustained on a diet of plain heterosexual nourishment: intrinsically ‘manly’ appetite does not require imaginative variation. If sexual and moral dysfunctions are metaphorised as digestive maladies or jaded appetite, the obverse might also be true. That is, corruption of the palate and digestion might translate into moral and sexual dysfunction. In Cleland’s writings on health, the physical constitution depends on a delicate gastric equilibrium which could be thrown into disarray by rich food or turbulent emotions

in Bellies, bowels and entrails in the eighteenth century

superstitions regarding the making of wills. In 1728, Thomas Edwards, a bailiff from Llanfechell on Anglesey, was ‘indisposed . . . tho’ getts up every day, yet can hardly crawl from his room to the house & back agen immediately upon the bed’.39 Despite his obvious pain, Edwards clearly felt obligated to continue his duties and not withdraw from public life. Such examples again raise the issue of the importance of gender and, in particular, the status of masculinity or manliness in terms of fending off sickness. Certainly in prescriptive literature, men were exhorted to give

in Physick and the family