Publishing and Medicine in Early Modern England

Publishing and Medicine in Early Modern England

Elizabeth Lane Furdell


University of Rochester Press



An investigation of the role which the English book trade played in an important transitional period in early modern medicine.
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 medicine in 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-century England; 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 .


November 2002
35 black and white, 1 line illustrations
304 pages
9x6 in
ISBN: 9781580461191
Format: Hardback
University of Rochester Press
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Table of Contents

English Medical Orthodoxy and Its Challengers
London Publishers and Booksellers in the Seventeenth Century Medical Marketplace
"Every Man His Own Doctor": Medical Publishers and Booksellers in Early Modern England
Profit or Principle? Religion, Publishing and Medicine
"A Way to Get Wealth": Women, Print, and Medicine
Location, Location, Location; Bookshops in London and Medical Controversy
Medical Advertising: Publishing the Proprietary
Worth a Thousand Words: Medical Illustrations and Their Effect


The book cogently lays out a great deal of useful information and provides an excellent overview of the relationship between medicine and publishing over two centuries. AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW

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