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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'.

Social progressivism and the transformation of provincial medicine
Michael Brown

no clean break from past forms. Rather it was a gradual, contested and occasionally uneven process which preserved residual vestiges of once dominant cultural and epistemological forms.17 This chapter considers the local dynamics of that process of disaggregation during the pivotal decade of the 1820s. In York, as elsewhere, many medical practitioners involved themselves in what might be called the provincial scientific movement, witnessed by the growth of literary and philosophical societies, provincial museums and mechanics’ institutes. The chapter therefore

in Performing medicine
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Michael Brown

body. Beginning in the 1820s with the foundation of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society, Chapter 4 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 then explores how, during 10 Performing medicine the debates over body-snatching and anatomical dissection which marked the late 1820s and early 1830s, medical practitioners came increasingly to claim social authority based

in Performing medicine