Tag Archives: 18th Century

The illness of King George III

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Farmer George & his wife. Published by William Holland. 1786. © The Trustees of the British Museum. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. The Hanoverian King George III (1738–1820) was a diligent man of wit and intelligence, a man who enhanced the reputation of the British monarchy until he […]

“God Helps Them That Help Themselves”: Poor Richard and the inoculation controversy

Stewart Justman Missoula, Montana, United States   Poor Richard, 1739. An Almanack for the Year of Christ 1739. Benjamin Franklin Library of Congress Rare Book & Special Collections Division. Via Wikimedia. Before vaccination there was inoculation, and long before opposition to vaccination for Covid-19 there was furious resistance to the practice of inoculating for smallpox. […]

Franz Joseph Gall and phrenology

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Franz Joseph Gall. By Zéphirin Félix Jean Marius Belliard. Via Wikimedia. For many reasons the work of Gall, when stripped of its excrescences, constituted an important landmark in the history of neurology. -Macdonald Critchley4 In the times of Galen, the location of the mind and spirit […]

John Hunter, his wolf dogs, and the inherited smiles of Pomeranians

Stephen Martin United Kingdom   Fig 1. Title of Hunter’s Royal Society wolf dogs paper. © Author, from original, CC-BY 4.0 John Hunter, 1728-1793, was a polymathic doctor. Besides being an anatomist and clinician, he was also interested in early genetics, exemplified by his “Observations tending to shew that the Wolf, Jackal, and Dog, are […]

The patronage and playability of Mozart’s flute works

Stephen Martin Durham, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Exposition of the D Major flute quartet. Beethoven borrowed the first two bars. Mozart obviously used a thicker-cut quill for hand-writing than for the notes. ‘Figur Handschrift’ is in a later hand. (IMSLP, CCA-SA 4.0) It is therapeutic to have an intellectual interest outside clinical work, a […]

A “most perfect interchange”

Satyabha Tripathi Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India   The Doctor. Luke Fildes. 1891. Tate Gallery, London. Via Wikimedia. “[Lydgate held] the conviction that the medical profession as it might be was the finest in the world; presenting the most perfect interchange between science and art; offering the most direct alliance between intellectual conquest and the social […]

The role of lullabies in mother-baby attachment

Özge Suzan Nursan Çinar Sakarya, Turkey   Lullaby by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. 1875. From Bartoli, Damien & Ross, Frederick C. William Bouguereau: His Life and Works. Via Wikimedia. A lullaby is defined as a sweet, gentle song that is sung to entice a baby to sleep. In Turkish folklore, a mother’s voice is very important for […]

Stitches as mending, stitches as healing

Kelley Swain Oxfordshire, England   “Plague Dress” by Anna Dumitriu, installation view at 6th Guangzhou Triennial at Guangdong Museum of Art. Published with permission. Knitwear designer and disability-access advocate Kate Davies writes of discovering her love of knitting at university: “The movement of your hands helped you to find a different kind of mind space. […]

Women surgeons

Moustapha Abousamra Ventura, California, United States   Cactus flower with buds.Image courtesy of the author. Last spring, I spent three months in the Texas Hill Country. It is a place that at once can be beautiful and hostile. The fields of blue bonnets in full bloom are breathtaking. The cacti that abound around barbed wire […]

Under the lime tree: medicine, poetry, and the education of the senses

Alan Bleakley Sennen, West Cornwall, United Kingdom   Portrait of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), by Peter Vandyke, 1795. Edited by Sue Bleakley. When in the summer of 1797 Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s wife Sara accidentally spilled hot milk over his foot, causing serious burns such that Coleridge could not walk, he sat in the garden of […]