Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Week 3: The Medical Marketplace

Lecturer: Hilary Marland

During the mid-1980s historians drew increasingly on the term the ‘medical marketplace’ to describe interactions between providers and consumers of medical treatment and health care in the early modern period, and occasionally beyond this period. This lecture explores the shift towards exploring the diversity of medical care and providers of care and variety of medical exchanges c. 17th to the 19th centuries, focusing on medical ‘practice’, paying particular attention to the Anglophone historiography. The lecture, and subsequent seminar, will examine the impact of location, access to care, supply, demand and competition between medical practitioners, and assess the ‘medical promiscuity’ and choices of consumers of medical treatment.

Discussion/Essay Questions:

1. How useful a term is the ‘medical marketplace’ in considering access to medical treatment in the early modern period?

2. How can we account for the diversity of health care options in the 18th and 19th centuries?

3. ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’. Is this true of doctor-patient relationships in the 18th and 19th centuries?

Required Readings:

Elaine Leong and Sara Pennell, ‘Recipe Collections and the Currency of Medical Knowledge in the Early Modern “Medical Marketplace”’, in Mark S.R. Jenner and Patrick Wallis (eds), Medicine and the Market in England and Its Colonies, c.1450-c.1850 (2007), 133-52. [e-book]

N.D. Jewson, ‘Medical Knowledge and the Patronage System in 18th Century England’, Sociology, 8 (1974), 369-85. [e-journal]

Irvine Loudon, ‘“The Vile Race of Quacks with which this Country is Infested”’, in W.F. Bynum and Roy Porter (eds), Medical Fringe and Medical Orthodoxy 1750-1850 (1987), 106-28.

Further Readings:

Michael Brown, ‘Medicine, Quackery and the Free Market: The “War” Against Morison’s Pills and the Construction of the Medical Profession, c.1830–c.1850’, in Mark S.R. Jenner and Patrick Wallis (eds), Medicine and the Market in England and its Colonies, c.1450-c.1850 (2007), 238-61. e-book

Flurin Condrau, ‘The Patient's View Meets the Clinical Gaze’, Social History of Medicine, 20 (2007), 525-40. e-journal

Anne Digby, Making a Medical Living: Doctors and Patients in the English Market for Medicine, 1720-1911 (1994).

Mark S.R. Jenner and Patrick Wallis (eds), Medicine and the Market in England and Its Colonies, c.1450-c.1850 (2007). e-book

Joan Lane, A Social History of Medicine: Health, Healing and Disease in England, 1750-1950 (2001), ch. 1.

Joan Lane, ‘The Medical Practitioners of Provincial England in 1783’, Medical History, 28 (1984), 353-71. e-journal

Joan Lane, The Making of the "English Patient": A Guide to Sources for the Social History of Medicine (2000).

I.S.L. Loudon, ‘The Nature of Provincial Medical Practice in Eighteenth-Century England’, Medical History, 29 (1985), 1-32. e-journal

Irvine Loudon, ‘Medical Practitioners 1750-1850 and the Period of Medical Reform in Britain’, in Andrew Wear (ed.), Medicine in Society (1992), 219-42. e-book

Hilary Marland, Medicine and Society in Wakefield and Huddersfield, 1780-1870 (1987).

Margaret Pelling and Charles Webster, ‘Medical Practitioners’, in Charles Webster (ed.), Health, Medicine and Mortality in the Sixteenth Century (1979), 165-235.

Margaret Pelling, ‘Medical Practice in Early Modern England: Trade or Profession?’ in W. Prest (ed.), The Professions in Early Modern England (1987), 90-128.

Margaret Pelling, The Common Lot: Sickness, Medical Occupations and the Urban Poor in Early Modern England (1998).

Roy Porter, ‘The Patient’s View: Doing Medical History from Below’, Theory and Society, 14 (1985), 175-98. e-journal

Roy Porter (ed.), Patients and Practitioners: Lay Perceptions of Medicine in Pre-Industrial Society (1985). e-book

Roy Porter, Disease, Medicine and Society in England, 1550-1860 (1995), esp. chs 4 and 5. e-book

Dorothy Porter and Roy Porter, Patient’s Progress: Doctors and Doctoring in Eighteenth-Century England (1989).

Roy Porter, Health for Sale: Quackery in England 1660-1850 (1989).

Matthew Ramsey, Professional and Popular Medicine in France 1770-1830 (1988).

Michael Stolberg, Experiencing Illness and the Sick Body in Early Modern Europe (2011), esp. Part 1. e-book

Takahiro Ueyama, Health in the Marketplace: Professionalism, Therapeutic Desires, and Medical Commodification in Late-Victorian London (2010).