Thesis (Ph.D)

The effect on family life during the late Georgian period of indisposition, medication, treatments and the resultant outcomes.


This thesis addresses the dearth of published scholarship relating to the effect of ill health upon the late Georgian family. While historians of medicine have failed to adequately address questions relating to the family, so family historians have not fully considered the effects that ill health had upon family life. To deal with such intimate questions about the person, the individual voices of the dead must be heard through the manuscripts and memorials that have been left. Critically, the integrity of such extant material needs to be debated and confirmed. Rationally, therefore, this thesis seeks to conflate the histories of medicine and the family while comprehending critical subtexts that emerge on gender and intergenerational relationships. Such a micro-research study demands a broad spectrum of archival material, by region, class, age and family member, from which the single voice may be heard. Axiomatically, cognisance has been taken of relevant debates regarding the integrity of such material, diaries, journals and correspondence, while ensuring that the emerging evidence may be perceived as representative, relevant and reliable. From such diverse sources, rigorously analysed and synthesised, this thesis presents new perspectives on the manner in which indisposition within the household was managed, practitioner and family relationships across the generations evolved and behaviours were effected by the diverse exigencies of sickness, accident, childbirth and death. Such original insights into the medical landscape within the close bounds of the sick household are essential if the lack of published scholarship on the effect of ill health on the late Georgian family is to be rectified.

Attached files


James, R

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of History, Philosophy and Religion
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


Year: 2010

© James, R
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