Victorian Medicine and Popular Culture (Sci & Culture in the Nineteenth Century) (Paperback)

By Louise Penner (Editor), Tabitha Sparks (Editor)

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822966432, 200pp.

Publication Date: December 1, 2020

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (6/1/2015)
Hardcover (6/1/2015)

List Price: 35.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


This collection of essays explores the rise of scientific medicine and its impact on Victorian popular culture. Chapters include an examination of Charles Dickens’s involvement with hospital funding, concerns over milk purity and the theatrical portrayal of drug addiction, plus a whole section devoted to the representation of medicine in crime fiction. This is an interdisciplinary study involving public health, cultural studies, the history of medicine, literature and the theatre, providing new insights into Victorian culture and society.

About the Author

Louise Penner is associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is the author of Victorian Medicine and Social Reform: Florence Nightingale among the Novelists.
Tabitha Sparks is associate professor of English at McGill University. She is the author of The Doctor in the Victorian Novel: Family Practices.

Praise For Victorian Medicine and Popular Culture (Sci & Culture in the Nineteenth Century)

“This is an outstanding collection: deeply researched, clearly written essays that talk to each other on such diverse aspects of Victorian public response to medicine as Thomas Wakley’s battle against fraudulent patent medicine ads, Dickens’s campaigns for hospitals, periodical articles on food adulteration, sanitation and home health management, poisoning doctors in novels, the new ‘science’ of sexology, drug addiction, degeneration, and a culminating essay on the importance of reading illness as metaphor in Victorian literature.”
—Mary Wilson Carpenter, Queen’s University, Canada

“Advertisements for Dr. Locock's Pulmonic Wafers, investigations of adulterated milk, doctor-poisoners, male hysterics: these are just some of the little-known but fascinating topics broached in Victorian Medicine and Popular Culture. Particularly strong in contributions showing the connections between medical controversies, figures, or topoi and popular fiction (Martineau, Collins, Conan Doyle, Ellen Wood, H. G. Wells), this volume of essays should be of interest to Victorianists and historians of medicine alike.”
—Lawrence Rothfield, University of Chicago