mercredi 16 mars 2016

La culture de l'imprimé médical au XIXe siècle

Early nineteenth-century medical print culture and some midland figures: Conolly, Darwall, Hastings and friends

Mr John Wilmott (University of Warwick)

Thursday 17th March


College of Medical and Dental Sciences
Institute of Applied Health Research

The fifth and final seminar of the Spring Term will take place in WF38 on the first floor of the Medical School at 5.30pm

The early nineteenth-century proliferation of printed material promoted the diffusion of new knowledge and ideas and facilitated debate on reform of various fields. In medicine, Thomas Wakley and the Lancet are well known for their radical, campaigning role, but this view may obscure the contribution of a wider range of practitioners and publications.

Two midland dispensary practitioners of the 1820s and 1830s, John Conolly (1794-1866) and John Darwall (1796-1833), were also prolific medical writers and editors. Conolly later became a noted alienist but in these years wrote on a variety of topics for both professional and lay audiences. Darwall was an early writer on occupational diseases and the care of sick children. Both were active in the establishment of the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association (later the British Medical Association). They collaborated as editors and otherwise with Charles Hastings of Worcester and John Forbes, then at Chichester.

Such individuals can be seen as adopting distinctive public scientific roles to aid their social acceptance, as ‘marginal men’ in Inkster’s formulation. All the above wrote on ‘medical topography’ as a topic well suited to provincial practitioners, an area little explored in recent historiography. 

Early published work of this kind is now much more accessible through digitisation projects. Consequently researchers can better evaluate the contribution of such provincial practitioners to the evolving medical scene of the ‘age of reform’. 


Details of future seminars are available from: Dr Vanessa Heggie, Institute of Applied Health Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT.

Email: Tel: 0121 415 8184

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