William Hunter and the eighteenth-century medical world


William Hunter and the eighteenth-century medical world

edited by W.F. Bynum and Roy Porter

Cambridge University Press, 2002

  • : pbk


William Hunter and the 18th-century medical world

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"First paperback edition 2002."--T.p. verso

Includes index



Arising out of a conference commemorating the two hundredth anniversary of the death of William Hunter (1718-1783), this book explores the career of that highly successful physician, obstetrician, medical educator and man of culture against the backgrounds of the medical, intellectual, social and medical-institutional worlds of his time. Medicine in eighteenth-century London has been little explored and much misunderstood. This collection of essays uses Hunter's broad influence as a vehicle to examine such areas as medical education, hospitals and the incomes and sources of prestige of leading physicians. It offers new interpretations that challenge many longstanding orthodoxies about medicine in the Enlightenment, including the practices and standards of man-midwives and the role of the teaching hospital. Historians have all too readily viewed the eighteenth-century medical world through the expectations of the nineteenth -century hospital and medical professional. This volume shows how the eighteenth-century medical world may be understood in its own terms.


  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Part I. Life: 1. William Hunter: a surgeon and a gentleman Roy Porter
  • 2. The happiness of riches C. Helen Brock
  • Part II. Medical Education: 3. The role of apprenticeship in eighteenth-century medical education in England Joan Lane
  • 4. Physicians, hospitals and career structures in eighteenth-century London W. F. Bynum
  • 5. 'Invite the philosopher, as well as the charitable': hospital teaching as private enterprise in Hunterian London Toby Gelfand
  • 6. Ornate physicians and learned artisans: Edinburgh medical men, 1726-1776 Christopher Lawrence
  • 7. German medical education in the eighteenth century: the Prussian context and its influence Johanna Geyer-Kordesch
  • 8. The politics of health and the institutionalisation of clinical practices in Europe in the second half of the eighteenth century Othmar Keel
  • Part III. Anatomy and Physiology: 9. Vitalism in late eighteenth-century physiology: the cases of Barthez, Blumenbach and John Hunter Francois Duchesneau
  • 10. William and John Hunter: breaking the Great Chain of Being W. D. Ian Rolfe
  • Part IV. Obstetrics: 11. The pleasures of procreation: traditional and biomedical theories of conception Angus McLaren
  • 12. William Hunter and the varieties of man-midwifery Adrian Wilson
  • 13. The management of normal deliveries and the generation of William Hunter Edward Shorter
  • 14. Gender, generation and science: William Hunter's obstetrical atlas L. J. Jordanova
  • Index.

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