Knowledge and Practice in English Medicine, 1550-1680
This is a major synthesis of the knowledge and practice of early modern English medicine in its social and cultural contexts. The book vividly maps out some central areas: remedies (and how they were made credible), notions of disease, advice on preventive medicine and on healthy living, and how surgeons worked upon the body and their understanding of what they were doing. The structures of practice and knowledge examined in the first part of the book came to be challenged in the later seventeenth century, when the 'new science' began to overturn the foundation of established knowledge. However, as the second part of the book shows, traditional medical practice was so well entrenched in English culture that much of it continued into the eighteenth century. Various changes did however occur, which set the agenda for later medical treatment and which are discussed in the final chapter.
- Hardback | 506 pages
- 152 x 229 x 29mm | 840g
- 16 Apr 2015
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
Table of contents
Introduction; 1. Setting the scene; 2. Remedies; 3. Diseases; 4. Preventive medicine: healthy lifestyles and healthy environments; 5. Surgery: the handwork of medicine; 6. Plague and medical knowledge; 7. The prevention and cure of plague; 8. Conflict and revolution in medicine; 9. The failure of the Helmontian revolution in the practice of medicine; 10. Changes and continuities.
'Wear's notably well balanced synthesis will be a valuable resource for students of history of medicine, of medicine in society and of early modern British cultural history.' Nancy Siraisi 'Andrea Wear's impressive volume, spanning the years between 1550 and 1680, constitutes a necessary and welcome contribution to this specialist literature, and serves as an excellent summation of the author's significant contributions to the field to date.' Social History of Medicine 'There is much to admire here ... few can have such a thorough grasp of the subtleties of medical opinion and its divergent courses.' Rec. R. Soc. Lond. 56 'This is an important book that rewards readers with a bold new vision of early modern medicine in the era of scientific revolution.' Journal of History of Medicine 'Wear's scope and acumen are breathtaking: he has interwoven a staggering wealth of material into a remarkable volume that perfectly blends monographic argument with synthetic overview. In this manner, his book provides an invaluable reference for historians and historians of medicine alike, and is absolutely indispensable for specialists and students of the period.' Social History of Medicine "[Wear's] discussion of medicine generally in the period after 1665 is always fresh, well-informed, and illuminating. There is much good substance in this intelligent study...a valuable reference for scholars." Albion