Chapter published in:The Dynamics of Text and Framing Phenomena: Historical approaches to paratext and metadiscourse in English
Edited by Matti Peikola and Birte Bös
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 317] 2020
► pp. 233–266
Chapter 10Paratextual features in 18th-century medical writing
Framing contents and expanding the text
This study focusses on the paratextual apparatus of 18th-century medical writing, with specific reference to tables of contents, indexes, appendices and glossaries in handbooks and compendia published in the second half of the century. The analysis, carried out on a sample of relevant works of the period, investigates both the layout (structural organisation on the page), and language issues (use of English to convey meaning). In particular, the relationship between the type and function of the paratext, along with the systematisation of contents through language are at the core of the discussion. The results of the analysis highlight the relevance of basic and complex paratextual patterns in medical writing. The interaction of layout and language frames medical contents for the reader (front matter), whereas back matter expands the main text by mapping connections and dependencies (indexes), adding lists of medicines and remedies (appendices), and explanatory terminology (glossaries).
Keywords: paratext, front matter, back matter, 18th-c. medical writing, 18th-c. medical handbooks, 18th-c. lexicography, 18th-c. medical terminology.
- 1.Aim of the study
Sources and method
- Primary sources
- Secondary sources
- 4.Structure of the study
- 5.Medicine and dissemination:
Experiential and disciplinary issues in handbooks
- 5.1Group 1.: Front matter: Basic pattern
- 5.2Group 2. A. Front matter: Complex pattern
- 5.3Group 2. B. Back matter: Indexes, glossaries and appendices
- 6.Final remarks
Published online: 18 November 2020
1788 Comparative View of the Mortality of the Human Species, at all Ages; And of the Diseases and Casualties by which they are destroyed or annoyed. Illustrated with Charts and Tables. […] Published at the unanimous Request of the Medical Society of London. London: Printed for C. Dilly, in the Poultry.
17th 1800 Domestic Medicine: or, A Treatise on the Prevention and Cure of Diseases by Regimen and Simple Medicines. With an Appendix, containing a Dispensatory for the Use of Private Practitioners. To which are added, Observations on the Diet of the Common People; recommending a Method of Living less expensive, and more conducive to Health, than the present. […] London: Printed by A. Strahan, Printers Street; for A. Strahan; T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, Strand; and J. Balfour, and W. Creech, Edinburgh.
1780 Observations on Fevers, especially those of the Continued Type; and on the Scarlet Fever attended with Ulcerated Sore-Throat, as it appeared at Newcastle upon Tyne in the Year 1778: together with A comparative View of that Epidemic with the Scarlet Fever as described by Authors, and the Angina Maligna. […] London: Printed for T. Cadell, in the Strand.
1785 The Practice of Medicine Made Easy. Being a Short, but Comprehensive Treatise, Necessary for Every Family. In which are exhibited the symptoms of almost every disease to which men are subject, the method of distinguishing any disease from others which it resembles, where such distinction is necessary, together with the most approved methods of cure, as to the regimen of the patient and the proper medicines to be used, so far as the Lectures of the learned Professors in the two celebrated Universities of Edinburgh and Leyden, or the books hitherto published by the most eminent Physicians in Europe, or the Author’s own judgment and experience have discovered to be most safe and beneficial, expressed in such a plain language, that it may be easily understood by persons of very moderate capacities. […] London: Printed for the Author, and sold by all the Booksellers in Great Britain and Ireland.
1785 The Compleat Family Physician; or, Universal Medical Repository. Containing the Causes, Symptoms, Preventions, and Cures, all the various Maladies to which Human Nature is liable. An Account of every celebrated SPA, British and Foreign, and Strictures on Quackery. To which are added, The Family Surgery; The Compleat British Herbal; Observations on Tea, Coffee, Tobacco, and Snuff; and a Great Variety of Most Extraordinary Cases in Physic and Surgery. The whole forming A Compleat Body of Domestic Medicine, calculated as well to assist Gentlemen of the Faculty, as for the Use of Private Families. […] London: Printed for Harrison and Co. N° 18, Paternoster Row.
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