Publishing and Medicine in Early Modern England
This book examines the effects of medical publishing on the momentous theoretical and jurisdictional controversies in health care in early modern England. The simultaneous collapse of medical orthodoxy and the control of medicinein London by the Royal College of Physicians occurred when reform-minded doctors who were trained on the continent, in tandem with surgeons and apothecaries, successfully challenged the professional monopoly held by Oxbridge-educated elites. This work investigates the book trade, the role it played in medicine, and the impact of the debate itself on the public sphere. Chapters analyze the politics and religious preferences of printers and sellers, gender as a factor in medical publishing, and the location of London bookshops, for clues to the business of well-being. Advertisements for remedies and therapeutic skills, the subject of another essay, became commonplace in 17th-centuryEngland; moreover, publishers and bookshop owners sometimes held the rights to proprietary medicines, undercutting licensed doctors. The final chapter surveys a variety of medical illustrations and their influence on the relationship between patient and physician. An epilogue considers the English medical scene and the world of print after the famous Rose decision of 1702, when the House of Lords gave apothecaries the legal right to practice medicine, ratifying the reality of a changed marketplace.
Elizabeth Lane Furdell is Professor of History at the University of North Florida, and author of The Royal Doctors, 1485-1714 .
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