Scottish Medicine and Literary Culture, 1726–1832 examines the ramifications of Scottish medicine for literary culture within Scotland, throughout Britain, and across the transatlantic world. The contributors take an informed historicist approach in examining the cultural, geographical, political, and other circumstances enabling the dissemination of distinctively Scottish medico-literary discourses. In tracing the international influence of Scottish medical ideas upon literary practice they ask critical questions concerning medical ethics, the limits of sympathy and the role of belles lettres in professional self-fashioning, and the development of medico-literary genres such as the medical short story, physician autobiography and medical biography. Some consider the role of medical ideas and culture in the careers, creative practice and reception of such canonical writers as Mark Akenside, Robert Burns, Robert Fergusson, Sir Walter Scott and William Wordsworth. By providing an important range of current scholarship, these essays represent an expansion and greater penetration of critical vision.
Megan J. Coyer is a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in Medical Humanities within the School of Critical Studies at the University of Glasgow.
David E. Shuttleton is Reader in Literature and Medical Culture within the School of Critical Studies at the University of Glasgow.
"Coyer and Shuttleton, by bringing together psychiatrists, literary scholars, historians, librarians and doctors, illuminate a neglected corner of medical humanities. [...] The virtue of this book is its ability to show how perspectives interwove and advanced as - and because - they were articulated together through contemporary rhetoric. [...] The mark of a succesful text lies within its pages, and in the vistas it opens for research.
Scottish Medicine and Literary Culture, 1726-1832 achieves such a success."
- Caroline McCracken-Flesher (University of Wyoming), in: Scottish Literary Review, vol. 7 no. 2 (Dec. 2015).
"Like many such collections, some of the transitions between sections can feel a little bumpy, but the standard of individual essays is generally high. Inevitably there is much more work to do in this field, and many questions are raised as well as resolved here [...] overall this book provides a valuable and unique resource for anyone interested in the Scottish Enlightenment’s literary and medical history."
- Clark Lawlor (Northumbria University, UK), in:
Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Volume 89, Number 3, Fall 2015, pp. 603-605.
Notes on Contributors
1. “Introduction: Scottish Medicine and Literary Culture, 1726–1832”
Megan J. Coyer & David E. Shuttleton
2. “‘Nothing is so soon forgot as pain’: Reading Agony in
The Theory of Moral Sentiments”
3. “The Origins of a Modern Medical Ethics in Enlightenment Scotland: Cheyne, Gregory and Cullen as Practitioners of Sensibility”
4. “The Demise of the Preformed Embryo: Edinburgh, Leiden, and the Physician-Poet Mark Akenside’s Contribution to the Re-Establishing of Epigenetic Embryology”
5. “Benjamin Rush, Edinburgh Medicine and the Rise of Physician Autobiography”
6. “The Construction of Robert Fergusson’s Illness and Death”
7. “‘Groaning under the miseries of a diseased nervous System’: Robert Burns and Melancholy”
8. “Phrenological Controversy and the Medical Imagination: ‘A Modern Pythagorean’ in
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine”
Megan J. Coyer
9. “Blood and the Revenant in Walter Scott’s
The Fair Maid of Perth”
10. “Magic, Mind Control, and the Body Electric: “Materia Medica” in Sir Walter Scott’s Library at Abbotsford”
An Account of... William Cullen: John Thomson and the Making of a Medical Biography”
David E. Shuttleton
12. “Transatlantic Irritability: Brunonian Sociology, America and Mass Culture in the Nineteenth Century”