Knowledge and Practice in English Medicine, 1550–1680
This is a major synthesis of the knowledge and practice of early modern English medicine in its social and cultural contexts. The book vividly maps out some central areas: remedies (and how they were made credible), notions of disease, advice on preventive medicine and on healthy living, and how surgeons worked upon the body and their understanding of what they were doing. The structures of practice and knowledge examined in the first part of the book came to be challenged in the later seventeenth century, when the 'new science' began to overturn the foundation of established knowledge. However, as the second part of the book shows, traditional medical practice was so well entrenched in English culture that much of it continued into the eighteenth century. Various changes did however occur, which set the agenda for later medical treatment and which are discussed in the final chapter.