To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This essay aims to show that medicine had a deep and dynamic relationship with poetry in the eighteenth century and the Romantic period. It uses Dr John Arbuthnot’s poetry to demonstrate how profoundly medical theories affected the idea of the human, and goes on analyse Alexander Pope’s ‘Cave of Spleen’ in The Rape of the Lock to demonstrate the complex effects medical theories and other discourses, including folklore and religion, create in a canonical, and highly gendered, poem of the early period. The essay describes the main medical theories of this ‘long’ century (humouralism, mechanism and (al)chemistry, the nerves and sensibility, vitalism and Brunonianism) and their uneven evolution, and analyses their effects on a variety of poets, including Anne Finch, Mark Akenside, Hannah More, Charlotte Smith, and Percy Shelley. It also focuses on the ‘regimen’ poetry of physician-poets Edward Baynard and John Armstrong, arguing that all kinds of discourses are bound up with both poetry and medicine, and that poetry, even of the didactic kind, is not reducible to medical discourse, and is capable of intervening in and shaping medical debates and medical knowledge.
Literature and medicine is a very broad church indeed, even within the narrower confines of the long eighteenth century, that imperialistic concept covering the period 1660–1832, or thereabouts. Even imperialistic concepts have their uses, however, and this span of time allows us to think outside traditional literary history and incorporate the interaction of matters medical with literary genres and texts. Our volume begins with the slow demise of humoural theory and the foundation of the Royal Society, and takes us to the end of a period in which the profession of medicine was not compartmentalised and hived off into one of the ‘two cultures’ posited by C. P. Snow.
Offering an authoritative account of the relationship between literature and medicine between approximately 1800 and 1900, this volume brings together leading scholars in the field to provide a valuable overview of how two dynamic fields influenced and shaped each during a period of revolutionary change. During the nineteenth century, medicine was being redefined as a subject in which experimental methodologies could transform the healing art, and was simultaneously branching off into new specialisms and subdivisions. Questions addressed in this volume include the influence of physics on poetry, the role of medical professionalism in fiction, the cultural and literary representation of sanitation, and the interdisciplinary nature of controversy and negligence. Along with its sister publication, Literature and Medicine in the Eighteenth Century, this volume offers a major critical overview of the study of literature and medicine.
Offering an authoritative and timely account of the relationship between literature and medicine in the eighteenth century and Romantic period, a time when most diseases had no cure, this collection provides a valuable overview of how two dynamic fields influenced and shaped one another. Covering a period in which both medicine and literature underwent frequent and sometimes radical change, the volume examines the complex mutual construction of these two fields via various perspectives: disability, gender, race, rank, sexuality, the global and colonial, politics, ethics, and the visual. Diseases, fashionable and otherwise, such as Defoe's representation of the plague, feature strongly, as authors argue for the role literary genres play in affecting people's experience of physical and mental illness (and health) across the volume. Along with its sister publication, Literature and Medicine in the Nineteenth Century, this volume offers a major critical overview of the study of literature and medicine.