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British spas in eighteenth-century medicine and literature
Author: Sophie Vasset

In the medical world of eighteenth-century Britain, doctors, caregivers and relief-seeking patients considered mineral waters a valuable treatment alongside drugs and other forms of therapy. Although the pre-eminence of Bath cannot be denied, this book offers to widen the scope of the culture of water-taking and examines the great variety of watering places, spas and wells in eighteenth-century British medicine and literature. It offers to veer away from a glamorous image of Georgian Bath refinement and elegant sociability to give a more ambivalent and diverse description of watering places in the long eighteenth century. The book starts by reasserting the centrality of sickness in spa culture, and goes on to examine the dangers of mineral water treatment. The notion of ‘murky waters’ constitutes a closely followed thread in the five chapters that evolve in concentric circles, from sick bodies to financial structures. The idea of ‘murkiness’ is an invitation to consider the material and metaphorical aspect of mineral waters, and disassociate them from ideas of cleanliness, transparency, well-being and refinement that twenty-first-century readers spontaneously associate with spas. At the crossroads between medical history, literary studies and cultural studies, this study delves into a great variety of primary sources, probing into the academic medical discourse on the mineral components of British wells, as well as the multiple forms of literature associated with spas (miscellanies, libels and lampoons, songs, travel narratives, periodicals and novels) to examine the representation of spas in eighteenth-century British culture.

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Medicine in the colonies in the Age of Commerce
Pratik Chakrabarti

instead examine the material constitution of medicine in the Age of Commerce. It will do so by showing that medicine in the eighteenth-century colonies was shaped by the two main products of European mercantilism: minerals and spices. These two materials encapsulated the complex maritime worlds of the West and East Indies respectively. By linking these with eighteenth-century medicine, the chapter will show how the broader history of trade and commodities was inscribed within medical history. Commerce in the Caribbean

in Materials and medicine
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A risky remedy?
Sophie Vasset

, such questions required that attention be paid to the risk of taking such medicines, whether their lack of efficiency let the course of the disease worsen, or whether their unknown components entailed unwanted secondary effects and pointless loss of money. Quackery is a complex question that needs cautious historical reading and awareness of the common use of the term. Contemporary accusations of quackery were part of wider politics of eighteenth-century medicine. In the writings of eighteenth-century doctors, a quack is an impostor who offers medical services or

in Murky waters
Bodies and environments in Italy and England

This book explores whether early modern people cared about their health, and what did it mean to lead a healthy life in Italy and England. According to the Galenic-Hippocratic tradition, 'preservative' medicine was one of the three central pillars of the physician's art. Through a range of textual evidence, images and material artefacts, the book documents the profound impact which ideas about healthy living had on daily practices as well as on intellectual life and the material world in Italy and England. Staying healthy and health conservation was understood as depending on the careful management of the six 'Non-Naturals': the air one breathed, food and drink, excretions, sleep, exercise and repose, and the 'passions of the soul'. The book provides fresh evidence about the centrality of the Non-Naturals in relation to groups whose health has not yet been investigated in works about prevention: babies, women and convalescents. Pregnancy constituted a frequent physical state for many women of the early modern European aristocracy. The emphasis on motion and rest, cleansing the body, and improving the mental and spiritual states made a difference for the aristocratic woman's success in the trade of frequent pregnancy and childbirth. Preventive advice was not undifferentiated, nor simply articulated by individual complexion. Examining the roles of the Non-Naturals, the book provides a more holistic view of convalescent care. It also deals with the paradoxical nature of perceptions about the Neapolitan environment and the way in which its airs were seen to affect human bodies and health.

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Pratik Chakrabarti

East Indies in terms of the political, economic and material life that sustained these colonial sites and forge a new link between artefacts and knowledge. Materials and medicine This approach urges the need to cast our conceptual net wider than a linear narrative of the history of institutions, and instead emphasize the material context of eighteenth-century medicine, which was explored by Europeans through trade and commerce. These activities have also shaped our understanding of the intellectual history of

in Materials and medicine
From the healthy individual to a healthy population
Maria Pia Donato

NonNaturals preserved health or caused disease, and especially the nature and effects of air, food and water – whether considered as drinking water or as a source of effluvia. It was still a matter of devising the right regimen for each individual or group of persons with the physician’s advice and of avoiding deleterious habitats or dangerous behaviours, but it was also, and increasingly, a matter of managing these things collectively and of protecting public health regardless of individual constitutions. Such an ambition was not new to eighteenth-century medicine, of

in Conserving health in early modern culture
Ludmilla Jordanova

, L. Belfer, A Fierce Radiance (New York: HarperCollins, 2010), which concerns research into penicillin and medical practice during the Second World War, reached wide audiences. 18 L. Jordanova, The Sense of a Past in Eighteenth-Century Medicine (Reading: University of Reading, 1997).

in Communicating the history of medicine
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Mechthild Fend

, it was at least as prominent for the eighteenth-century understanding of the functioning of the vital and healthy body. The human’s envelope and organ of touch became indeed closely associated with the paradigmatic Enlightenment quality: sensibility. Not only a psychological capacity for refined emotion and compassion, sensibility was also understood as physical perceptiveness and as such considered a dominant if not the dominant force of life. For those areas of eighteenth-century medicine considered in what follows, skin became the exquisite organic outpost of

in Fleshing out surfaces
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Michael Brown

socially instrumental form of expertise. This transformation in knowledge was mirrored by a transformation in association. Later eighteenth-century medicine was characterised by a broad social as well as intellectual engagement as its practitioners sought to embed themselves in the formal and informal networks of local society. By the early nineteenth century, however, medical association began to take on an increasingly bounded and exclusive form as practitioners grouped together in vocationally specific societies dedicated to vocationally specific goals, sublimating

in Performing medicine
Harlots and televising the realities of eighteenth-century English prostitution
Brig Kristin and Clark Emily J.

more agency as central figures than as sidekicks or liminal characters. In turn, elite figures play simultaneously marginal and powerful roles in prostitutes’ lives, revealing deep power dynamics not just between but within eighteenth-century English classes and genders. We will consider Mary Cooper and her place in eighteenth-century medicine and society in two parts. The first section explores Mary

in Diagnosing history