Category Archives: Medicine & Science

Georgian “Madness” and Melancholy

In the eighteenth century, “madness” was used as a catch-all description for just about any type of mental illness, from depression to full-blown psychosis and mania. The causes were much debated, not just by medical men either. Some saw madness … Continue reading

Posted in Medicine & Science | 7 Comments

The Georgian Apothecary

Medicine in georgian times was categorised largely by the social class of the practitioner and the scale of fees they charged. Some doctors did tend to focus on one or two main approaches to treatment — sea bathing, for example. … Continue reading

Posted in Commerce, Medicine & Science | 5 Comments

The Cure for ‘Green Sickness’

‘Green sickness’ was described as a condition ‘peculiar to virgins’, which was said to turn the skin a greenish colour and leave the sufferer weak and melancholic. It was also believed to be common throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, … Continue reading

Posted in Medicine & Science

A Pair of Famous Quacks

Despite The Enlightenment, the eighteenth century was still an age of credulity and superstition. Astrological almanacs and charms were sold by the thousand. Every sort of fortune-teller, quack doctor and peddler of patent remedies set themselves up in business. Since … Continue reading

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The Georgian and Regency Home Medicine Chest

On a recent visit to Edinburgh, my wife and I visited The Georgian House in Charlotte Square. It’s a late-Georgian townhouse, wonderfully preserved, furnished and displayed by The National Trust for Scotland. During our visit, we spotted the early Regency … Continue reading

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Marriage amongst the Middling Sort

Marriage was a significant part of life for the majority in 18th century England as it still is today. Not everyone married, of course, but most did. It was seen as a natural stage in life, important for the stability … Continue reading

Posted in Georgian Society, Medicine & Science | 4 Comments

Infant Mortality: A Surprising View

There are occasions when you come upon something from the 18th century that overturns our modern assumptions about people’s outlook on life at that time. Such an event occurred to me this week when I lit on this entry in … Continue reading

Posted in Georgian Society, Medicine & Science | 3 Comments