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Medical culture and identity in provincial England, c.1760–1850
Author: Michael Brown

This book talks about late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century English medical culture, a study of what it meant to be a doctor and how this changed over time. It presents a brief overview of the social, economic and cultural landscape of late eighteenth-century York. 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 book examines the role of intellectual liberality, demonstrating how public displays of polite and 'ornamental' learning were central to the performance of medico-gentility. It explores the incipient demise of this culture. Through a close reading of a scandal which enveloped the York Lunatic Asylum, it also explores the ways in which medical identities founded upon gentility and politeness were critically undermined by the political and social factionalism. The book looks at medical involvement in the provincial scientific movement, examining how local medical men positioned themselves relative to the so-called 'march of intellect', the cultural and ideological alignment between science and social reform. It continues this analysis in relation to the cholera epidemic of 1832 and other medico-political activities. The book considers how the professional dominion over healthcare was forged by the dual processes of inclusion and exclusion. It discusses the foundation of the Medical School in 1834 against the trial, in the same year, of a local salesman for James Morison's 'Universal Vegetable Medicine'.

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Michael Brown

exclusion, situating the foundation of the Medical School in 1834 against the trial, in the same year, of a local salesman for James Morison’s ‘Universal Vegetable Medicine’. Performing Medicine offers a new and distinctive account of the history of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century English medicine, one that places culture at the heart of its analysis. It is also one that has implications for the ways in which we think about medicine today, for if, in the past, the medical profession has been contingent upon wider social, cultural and political forces, then the

in Performing medicine
Expertise, authority and the making of medical dominion
Michael Brown

Joseph Webb stood trial at the York Assizes for the manslaughter of Richard Richardson, a local linen-draper’s apprentice. Webb was an agent for the sale of James Morison’s Universal Vegetable Medicine and his prosecution was part of a much broader campaign by medical reformers to eliminate this most successful of commercial rivals. However, as the circumstances surrounding this trial reveal, the ‘war’ between Morison and his medical opponents was more than a matter of economic competition. Morison was targeted not so much because of his financial success but because

in Performing medicine