Article

Medicine

Andrew Scott Mangham

in Victorian Literature

ISBN: 9780199799558
Published online March 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199799558-0080
Medicine

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The 19th century saw enormous demands on the field of medical inquiry. That period saw urban development and international travel bring medicine face-to-face with new and exhausting pressures. Towns and cities may have been awash with disease, death, and primitive medical practice, but, in the period’s scientific literature, doctors perceived themselves to be meeting such pressures with inventive and ground-breaking discoveries that had wide-reaching impacts. These developments understandably had an impression on the shape and quality of the period’s fiction: many fictional productions of the Victorian era featured ideas and influences from the world of medicine. Although the history of medicine is a venerable and bewilderingly large area of research, critical combinations of medicine and literature form part of a relatively new field of interdisciplinary analysis. This entry is primarily focused on works that combine history of clinical science with literary analysis, but historical works that either touch upon literary issues and/or are central to exploring relevant avenues are also included.

Article.  8409 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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