Category Archives: Medicine & Science

Melancholy and the Romantic Movement

How did the concept of melancholy came to be seen as especially associated with Romanticism and creativity in the arts? In the 18th century, the concept of sensibility—a refined feeling of emotion and delicacy of perception—was synonymous with social refinement … Continue reading

Posted in Georgian Society, Medicine & Science | Leave a comment

Melancholy and Madness

In the eighteenth century, melancholia was thought of not as a curable mental affliction, but as one of the primary forms of madness. Melancholia means ‘black bile’, one of the four bodily humours recognised by the Hippocratic and Galenic systems … Continue reading

Posted in Georgian Society, Medicine & Science | 1 Comment

Was Melancholy THE English Malady of the 18th Century?

“Mine, you are to know, is a white Melancholy, or rather Leucocholy… which though it seldom laughs or dances, nor ever amounts to what one calls Joy or Pleasure, yet is a good easy sort of a state … But … Continue reading

Posted in Georgian Society, Medicine & Science, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Some Georgian Medicine (from the archives)

Elizabeth Postlethwaite in 1777 (© Copyright National Portrait Gallery, London) A little while ago, rummaging in a secondhand bookshop as I often do, I found a small, locally-published book containing extracts from the correspondence of two Norfolk sisters, Elizabeth and … Continue reading

Posted in Medicine & Science, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The 18th-century Apothecary

Those of you who have read any of my Georgian murder-mystery books featuring Dr Adam Bascom will know that one of the important series characters is Peter Lassimer, an apothecary. I was therefore fascinated to find an article in a … Continue reading

Posted in Medicine & Science | 2 Comments

“Cunning Folk”: Witchcraft, Healing and Superstition

It’s easy to forget that “Cunning Folk” had been a normal part of society from the Middle Ages and continued right through until the start of the 20th century. They included men and women, some practising as healers, some as … Continue reading

Posted in Georgian Society, Medicine & Science | 9 Comments

The ‘Bluestockings’ and Society

Today the term ‘bluestocking’ is applied to women who do not conform to the supposed feminine stereotype. In the eighteenth century, it had not yet gained that automatic sneer and referred to any woman distinguished by learning and intelligence. So … Continue reading

Posted in Georgian Society, Medicine & Science