Gout: The Patrician Malady

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Yale University Press, 2000 - Medical - 393 pages
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Gout has interested medical writers and cultural commentators from the time of Ancient Greece. Historically seen as a disease afflicting upper-class males of superior wit, genius and creativity, it has included among its sufferers Erasmus, the Medici, Edward Gibbon, Samuel Johnson, Immanuel Kant and Robert Browning. Gout has also been the subject of medical folklore, viewed as a disease that protects its sufferers and assure long life. This book investigates the history of gout and through it offers a perspective on medical and social history, sex, prejudice and class and explains why gout was gender specific. The authors investigate medical thinking about gout through the ages, from Hippocrates and Galen through Paracelsus and Harvey to Archibald Garrod in the Victorian era and beyond. They discuss the cultural, moral, religious and personal qualities associated with gout, examining social commentary, personal writings, cartoons and visual arts, and imaginative literature (including novels of Dickens, Thackeray and Joseph Conrad).
 

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Gout: the patrician malady

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Porter is a well-known medical historian at the Wellcome Institute in London and author of The Greatest Benefit to Mankind (LJ 2/15/98), perhaps the best general history of medicine available today ... Read full review

Contents

The Classical Inheritance
13
Prometheuss Vulture The Renaissance Fashioning of Gout
22
Science and Sydenham
36
The EighteenthCentury Medical Debates
48
CULTURES
69
Gout and the Georgian Gentleman
71
Smollett Cadogan and Controversy
93
Change and Continuity 17901850
125
Podagra Ludens Disease and Discourse
211
II The Lucianic and Menippean heritage
213
III The rhetoric of swelling
216
IV Homo ludens and the neoLucianic heritage
219
V The metaphoric heritage
229
Gout The Visual Heritage
248
Epilogue
284
Notes
286

Indian Summer Romantic and Victorian Gout
143
Gout and Glory Garrod and After
173
GOUTOMETRIES
209

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About the author (2000)

Roy Sydney Porter was born December 31, 1946. He grew up in a south London working class home. He attended Wilson's Grammar School, Camberwell, and won an unheard of scholarship to Cambridge. His starred double first in history at Cambridge University (1968) led to a junior research fellowship at his college, Christ's, followed by a teaching post at Churchill College, Cambridge. His Ph.D. thesis, published as The Making Of Geology (1977), became the first of more than 100 books that he wrote or edited. Porter was a Fellow and Director of Studies in History at Churchill College, Cambridge from 1972 to 1979; Dean from 1977 to 1979; Assistant Lecturer in European History at Cambridge University from 1974 to 1977, Lecturer from 1977 to 1979. He joined the Wellcome Institute fot the History of Medicine in 1979 where he was a Senior Lecturer from 1979 to 1991, a Reader from 1991 to 1993, and finally a Professor in the Social History of Medicine from 1993 to 2001. Porter was Elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1994, and he was also made an honorary fellow by both the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Roy Porter died March 4, 2002, at the age of 55.

GEORGE ROUSSEAU is Co-Director, Centre for the History of Childhood, Oxford University and member of the Modern History Research Unit, Oxford University.

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