Romantic Medicine and John Keats

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Using original research in scientific treatises, philosophical manuscripts, and political documents, this pioneering study describes the neglected era of revolutionary medicine in Europe through the writings of the English poet and physician, John Keats. De Almeida explores the four primary concerns of Romantic medicine—the physician's task, the meaning of life, the prescription of disease and health, and the evolution of matter and mind—and reveals their expression in Keats's poetry and thought. By delineating a distinct but unknown era in the history of medicine, charting the poet's milieu within this age, and providing close reading of his poems in these contexts, Romantic Medicine and John Keats illustrates the interdisciplinary bonds between the two healing arts of the Romantic period: medicine and poetry.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Highly original, colorful, obsessively industrious....It profoundly alters our perception of Keats's imaginative inspiration....De Almeida makes one think again about Romanticism and that is no mean feat. She has said something new about Keats, she has taken risks of interpretation, she has minutely reconstructed not merely a scientific culture but a scientific emotion, a frame of mind we have almost lost."—New York Review of Books

"A rich, detailed study....A book which qualifies as that all-too-rare phenomenon: a genuinely original contribution to Keats and Romantic studies....Provides a wealth of information and suggestive commentary that scholars and critics will be learning from and drawing on for years to come."—Journal of English and Germanic Philology

"An impressive and enlightening piece of work."—Studies in English Literature

"The argument and the ambitious research that supports it generate a multiplicity of new insights into the poetry....The book is a remarkable achievement....She has here made a major contribution to our understanding of Keats and the Romantic period."—The Romantic Movement

"A significant contribution not only to Keats studies but to the intellectual history of the Romantic Period."—Keats-Shelley Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195063073
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/1990
  • Pages: 432
  • Lexile: 1680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.32 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Miami, Florida
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Reading Life 3
Part I Apollo's Poet 15
1 The London Medical Circle 22
2 Physicians True and False 34
3 Medical and Artistic Vision 43
4 Reading the Faces of Pain 54
Part II Life 59
5 Naturphilosophie and John Brown 66
6 The Four Elements 74
7 Hunter and the Life of Blood 87
8 The Quarrel over Hunter's Principle 98
9 Polarity and Coleridge 111
10 The Grecian Urn 116
Part III The Pharmacy of Disease 135
11 The Pharmakon 146
12 Specific Pharmaka 163
13 Antidotes 175
14 The Ambiguity of Snakes 182
15 Morbid Fevers 197
16 Feverous Love 203
Part IV Organic Perfection 217
17 Glaucus's Cloak 224
18 English Evolution 231
19 European Evolution 240
20 Evolution of Mind 251
21 The Freaks of Imagination 264
22 Saturn's Query of Force 273
23 Apollo's Power of Life: Sympathetic Genius 286
24 The Imagination of Life 299
25 Reading Life 312
Notes 323
References 377
Index of Poems by Keats 403
Index of Proper Names 405
Index of Topics 412
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