The Woman (Doctor) Question and Nineteenth-Century Medical Journals

This post – which reflects on my early experiences of working with nineteenth-century medical journals – first appeared on conscicom.org, the website for the AHRC-funded Constructing Scientific Communities project which my DPhil falls under. “The medical-women question is perennial. It knows no limits; we encounter it at every turn – at the universities and at the examining boards,…

Exhibition Review: Terror and Wonder @ The British Library

“The Nightmare” by Henry Fuseli (1781). Print made by Thomas Burke (1783). Given the way in which the Gothic foregrounds bodily sensations (in the eyes of both its devotees and detractors), I’ve decided I’m not pushing the parameters of The Victorian Clinic too far in choosing to review the British Library’s current exhibition on this…

Life-Drawing: Medical Women in Fact and Fiction

  Sophia Jex-Blake and Margaret Georgina Todd In “Medical Women in Fiction” (1893), Sophia Jex-Blake – one of Victorian Britain’s pioneering women doctors – catalogues and critiques her fictional counterparts. Focusing on a series of British and American novels published between the early 1870s and early 1890s, she declaims any interest in their “literary value”…

Review: Medicine Matters @ Chelsea Physic Garden

Despite living in London, all too often I feel my social life is stuck in a bit of a rut; a cycle of overpriced meals out and equally expensive cocktails.  Earlier this week I was starting to feel the cultural-withdrawal symptoms set in, and duly scanned the Ministry of Curiosity’s wonderful events listings to find myself…

Filling the “vacant space”: Constructing learning disability in Wilkie Collins’ No Name and The Law and the Lady

NB: The following blog post is based on a paper I put together for the Victorian Popular Fiction Association 6th Annual Conference 2014. I appeared as part of the Wilkie Collins panel chaired by Mariaconcetta Costantini. The conference theme was ‘Victorian Treasures and Trash’.    In a recent episode of ITV detective drama Endeavour (the 1960s-set prequel to…

What’s in a name?

It’s been more than a month now since my last blog post. I usually put this neglect down to my packed schedule: the demands of part-time study and a full-time job rarely yield much headspace to write anything other than the obligatory essay. Reading Dr Nadine Muller’s blog post on social media and academia this…

Museum Review: The Old Operating Theatre

My visit to the Langdon Down museum this summer set me thinking about some of the lesser-known museums in the capital. In recent years, with the outpouring of blogs and social media channels, there seems to have been a concerted effort to plug some of the less-familiar cultural hotspots, particularly as the obvious attractions become…

Bringing up the Bodies

Dismembered, disabled, drunken, endangered, drug-addled, dying, dead… This year’s Victorian Popular Fiction Association Annual Conference was teeming with human bodies in all shapes and sizes. Whilst the conference (the fifth of its kind) didn’t deal exclusively with the physical form – the suitably open-ended theme ‘Bodies’ also attracted papers on ‘the body’ as a group…