“This very perceptive and imaginative study makes a significant contribution to Victorian studies.”
Matthew Ramsey, Vanderbilt University
“Pamboukian’s book is an insightful look into medicine and language that should inspire further inquiry into the literature of the period and, as she suggests in her concluding remarks, medicine today.”
“…Doctoring the Novel is a valuable and unique contribution to Victorian studies because it bridges the scholarly gap between historical studies of nineteenth-century medicine and literary readings of medicine that focus on medicine as a hegemonic force. The text is also a helpful resource for scholars and students in the medical humanities. Pamboukian not only provides insightful readings of Shelley, Brontë, Dickens, and Doyle through the lens of medical discourse, but she also justifies why such readings are productive.”
Journal of Medical Humanities
If nineteenth-century Britain witnessed the rise of medical professionalism, it also witnessed rampant quackery. It is tempting to categorize historical practices as either orthodox or quack, but what did these terms really signify in medical and public circles at the time? How did they develop and evolve? What do they tell us about actual medical practices?
Doctoring the Novel explores the ways in which language constructs and stabilizes these slippery terms by examining medical quackery and orthodoxy in works such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Charles Dickens’s Bleak House and Little Dorrit, Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, Wilkie Collins’s Armadale, and Arthur Conan Doyle’s Stark Munro Letters. Contextualized in both medical and popular publishing, literary analysis reveals that even supposedly medico-scientific concepts such as orthodoxy and quackery evolve not in elite laboratories and bourgeois medical societies but in the rough-and-tumble of the public sphere, a view that acknowledges the considerable, and often underrated, influence of language on medical practices.
Trained in Victorian studies and pharmacy, Sylvia A. Pamboukian is an associate professor in the department of English at Robert Morris University. She has published on topics as diverse as Victorian x-rays, Rudyard Kipling’s supernatural stories, and taboo in the Harry Potter series. More info →
Save 20% ($39.96)
US and Canada only
Availability and price vary according to vendor.
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
Charity and Condescension explores how condescension, a traditional English virtue, went sour in the nineteenth century, and considers the ways in which the failure of condescension influenced Victorian efforts to reform philanthropy and to construct new narrative models of social conciliation.
The Offenses Against the Person Act of 1828 opened magistrates’ courts to abused working-class wives. Newspapers in turn reported on these proceedings, and in this way the Victorian scrutiny of domestic conduct began. But how did popular fiction treat “private” family violence? Bleak Houses: Marital Violence in Victorian Fiction traces novelists’ engagement with the wife-assault debates in the public press between 1828 and the turn of the century.Lisa
Gruel and truffles, wine and gin, opium and cocaine. Making a Man: Gentlemanly Appetites in the Nineteenth-Century British Novel addresses the role of food, drink, and drugs in the conspicuously consuming nineteenth century in order to explore the question of what makes a man of a certain class in novels of the period.
From the 1860s through the early twentieth century, Great Britain saw the rise of the department store and the institutionalization of a gendered sphere of consumption.
Sign up to be notified when new Victorian Studies titles come out.
We will only use your email address to notify you of new titles in the subject area(s) you follow. We will never share your information with third parties.