Category Archives: 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

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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

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The Serious Business of Sea-Bathing

A little while ago, I wrote a post about sea bathing. It attracted so much interest I thought more research would be useful, going beyond the basics into the reasoning behind the fashion and how it changed during the 18th … Continue reading

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Dealing with a Quack

  In the eighteenth century, legislation to protect the public from quack doctors and other medical charlatans was still in its infancy. Here’s an example from a Norwich newspaper of 1767 where the magistrates made use of such legislation as … Continue reading

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Melancholia: The English Malady

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

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