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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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Politeness, sociability and the culture of medico-gentility
Michael Brown

1 The Doctors Club: politeness, sociability and the culture of medico-gentility As to the general character of a physician’s manners, I see no reason why they should be different from those of a gentleman. J. Gregory, Observations on the Offices and Duties of a Physician (1770)1 I n 1763 the p reamb le to the local Cleaning and Lighting Act announced that York was the ‘Capital City of much of the Northern Parts of England . . . a place of great Resort, and much frequented by Persons of Distinction and Fortune’.2 Though undoubtedly coloured by the rhetorical

in Performing medicine
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Michael Brown

three of these cover the period from around 1760 to about 1815 and examine the construction, elaboration and eventual demise of what I refer to as ‘medico-gentility’, a culture of medicine in which identity and social performance were structured by aspirations to gentility and were framed by the values of politeness, sociability and civic engagement. Chapter 1 opens with a brief overview of the social, economic and cultural landscape of late eighteenth-century York before considering how forms of sociability, such as the urban club, as well as more general social

in Performing medicine
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Entrails and digestion in the eighteenth century
Rebecca Anne Barr, Sylvie Kleiman-Lafon, and Sophie Vasset

conference and this collection confirm that the academic interest in politeness, sociability, public space and opinion, sentimentality and reason that characterised the field throughout the twentieth century has given way to darker, dirtier and less glamorous subjects which complicate and enlarge the vision of a period too often reduced to the glamour of the rich élite and the progressive aspects of social progress. Scholarly focus has shifted to the darker side of the Enlightenment. Two recent works of social history and literary criticism exemplify such interest in the

in Bellies, bowels and entrails in the eighteenth century
‘He’s putting me in such a doldrum’
Katie Barclay

men on both sides of the stand attempted to destabilise the narrative being told, avoid answering questions, or affirm masculinity through witty wordplay. That humour provides opportunity to resist power structures, to discipline and reinforce norms, or negotiate social power relationships is widely recognised.43 In an eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century context, humorous exchange was a source of social anxiety, as writers •  155  • BARCLAY PRINT.indd 155 11/10/2018 10:05 MEN ON TRIAL explored whether it was compatible with polite sociability. Thinkers

in Men on trial
Joris Vandendriessche

for York at the turn of the nineteenth century, philanthropy was part of a wider culture of ‘medico-gentility,’ a concept with which he indicated elite physicians’ participation in a social landscape ‘shaped by the values of gentility, polite sociability and civic belonging.’36 Medical societies facilitated such civil participation, allowing their members not only to engage in philanthropy, but also to display these charitable efforts to urban society. Civil display also drove the propagation of one of the most talkedabout medical innovations of the turn of the

in Medical societies and scientific culture in nineteenth-century Belgium
Medicine and the world of letters
Michael Brown

minute book, lest we forget, was inscribed with an exhortation to ‘Good Humour’.130 Conclusion Politeness, sociability, affability, benevolence, and liberality: these were the values which underpinned the late eighteenth-century culture of medicogentility. Atkinson’s Medical Bibliography was a product of this. However, by the time it was published in 1833, it was already outmoded. A tantalising annotation to a copy held at the Minster Library in York states that Atkinson’s text is ‘extremely rare’ because, after his death in 1839, ‘Nearly all the copies were destroyed

in Performing medicine
Jennifer Mori

service Paris elegantes. Elizabeth, whose mother’s illness had often placed her at the head of the family table in London, was much better equipped to cope with whatever an embassy might throw at her.69 Peter Borsay’s ‘urban renaissance’ gave British towns a plethora of new economic, social and cultural venues ranging from lending libraries, assembly halls, shops and markets, theatres and concert halls, to public parks, racecourses and museums. These were new environments in which the mingling of men and women set new standards for polite sociability. Over the course

in The culture of diplomacy
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Collin McKinney

respectively. Given the relatively low levels of literacy in Spain during this period, the popularity of such manuals is all the more pronounced.32 Spain’s industrialization and urbanization may have been slow and uneven when compared to Great Britain and the other major western European nations,33 but in matters of taste and behaviour they clearly perceived themselves as a modern society in step with the rest of Europe.34 The etiquette books of the nineteenth century covered virtually all aspects of polite sociability. Rementería explains the scope of his book in the

in Spain in the nineteenth century
Leonie Hannan

, gendered as masculine and feminine.4 Thinking women of this period were subject to prevailing assumptions about the weaknesses of the female mind – a mind that was considered expertly adapted to the realm of polite sociable conversation but was desperately ill-equipped to deal with serious scholarly endeavour. As the author of a 1743 prescriptive volume The Lady’s Preceptor put it: ‘There are as great a Variety of Rules for Writing well, as for Talking well; the Ignorance of most of your Sex, therefore, in this Science, who generally are guilty of as many Faults as they

in Women of letters