Gout has fascinated medical writers and cultural commentators from the time of ancient Greece. Historically seen as a disease afflicting upper-class males of superior wit, genius, and creativity, it has included among its sufferers Erasmus, the Medici, Edward Gibbon, Samuel Johnson, Immanuel Kant, and Robert Browning. Gout has also been the subject of powerful medical folklore, viewed as a disease that protects its sufferers and assures long life. This dazzlingly insightful and readable book investigates the history of gout and through it offers a new perspective on medical and social history, sex, prejudice, and class, and explains why gout was gender specific.
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(229mm x 152mm x 23mm)
Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
When we think of upper-class English men in the 18th and 19th centuries, we think of gout. Edward Gibbon, Samuel Johnson and Robert Browning were among the many sufferers. It was all that port that they drank, wasn't it? In part, it was, as this fascinating book reveals, though its causes were varied and its consequences wide ranging. The authors survey the history of gout over the centuries, the way in which it was represented in literature and the arts, particularly in Georgian and Regency England, and what is association with wealthy males tells us about constructions of class and gender in the past. Scholarly and yet highly readable, this is well worth trying. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Roy Porter
Roy Porter is professor of the social history of medicine at the Wellcome Institute, University College, London. He is the author or coauthor of many books, including The Facts of Life: The Creation of Sexual Knowledge in Britain, 1650-1950 (ISBN 0 300 06221 4, #25.00), also published by Yale University Press. G.S. Rousseau has been the Regius Professor of English at King's College, Aberdeen, and in 1998-2001 holder of a Leverhulme Trust Award to work on literature and the culture of medicine in history.