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Literature and Medicine in Nineteenth-Century Britain : From Mary Shelley to George Eliot - Janis McLarren Caldwell

Literature and Medicine in Nineteenth-Century Britain

From Mary Shelley to George Eliot


Published: 1st December 2004
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Although we have come to regard 'clinical' and 'romantic' as oppositional terms, romantic literature and clinical medicine were fed by the same cultural configurations. In the pre-Darwinian nineteenth century, writers and doctors developed an interpretive method that negotiated between literary and scientific knowledge of the natural world. Literary writers produced potent myths that juxtaposed the natural and the supernatural, often disturbing the conventional dualist hierarchy of spirit over flesh. Clinicians developed the two-part history and physical examination, weighing the patient's narrative against the evidence of the body. Examining fiction by Mary Shelley, Carlyle, the Brontes and George Eliot, alongside biomedical lectures, textbooks and articles, Janis McLarren Caldwell demonstrates the similar ways of reading employed by nineteenth-century doctors and imaginative writers and reveals the complexities and creative exchanges of the relationship between literature and medicine.

From the hardback review: '... it contains some useful work on an impressive array of primary sources. The influence of medicine and medical theory on Romantic and Victorian writers remains insufficiently acknowledged. Janis McLarren Caldwell restores that influence to its rightful place.' Times Literary Supplement

Science and sympathy in Frankenstein
Natural supernaturalism in Thomas Carlyle and Richard Owen
Wuthering Heights and domestic medicine: the child's body and the book
Literalization in the novels of Charlotte Bronte
Charles Darwin and Romantic medicine
Doctors and patients, then and now
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521843348
ISBN-10: 0521843340
Series: Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature & Culture
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 220
Published: 1st December 2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.5