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Opportunity on the edge of orthodoxy: medically qualified hydropathists in the era of reform, 1840-60



Opportunity on the edge of orthodoxy: medically qualified hydropathists in the era of reform, 1840-60



Social History of Medicine 14(3): 417-437



Following the lead of the Lancet's attacks in the 1840s, historians have considered hydropathy and hydropathists in Britain as part of fringe or heterodox medicine. Yet the distance between varieties of orthodox theory and practice and hydropathy was small, and many of the most prominent hydropathists held orthodox views and qualifications. Examining the educational backgrounds and careers of 40 early British hydropathists, the authors suggest that hydropathy and hydropathic establishments, like specialists hospitals, asylums, and spa practice, provided an alternative niche to general practice in the crowded British medical market and a way to 'fame and fortune' for medical men outside the metropolitan élite.

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Accession: 046870207

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PMID: 11811187


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