Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine

Psychopharmacology in British Literature and Culture, 1780–1900

Editors: Roxburgh, Natalie, Henke, Jennifer S. (Eds.)

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  • Addresses scholars within the fields of Romantic and Victorian Studies, literature and science and the medical humanities, plant studies, addiction studies, and interdisciplinary approaches to medicine
  • Examines drugs by going beyond discourses on literature and addiction
  • Focuses on the history of the science of psychoactive drugs alongside their cultural, social, and political contexts
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eBook 93,08 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-53598-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 114,39 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-53597-1
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  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
About this book

This collection of essays examines the way psychoactive substances are described and discussed within late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literary and cultural texts. Covering several genres, such as novels, poetry, autobiography and non-fiction, individual essays provide insights on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century  understandings of drug effects of opium, alcohol and many other plant-based substances. Contributors consider both contemporary and recent medical knowledge in order to contextualise and illuminate understandings of how drugs were utilised as stimulants, as relaxants, for pleasure, as pain relievers and for other purposes. Chapters also examine the novelty of experimentations of drugs in conversation with the way literary texts incorporate them, highlighting the importance of literary and cultural texts for addressing ethical questions.

About the authors

Natalie Roxburgh is Lecturer and Research Fellow in English Literary Studies at the University of Siegen, Germany. She has published widely on a variety of topics—such as science, economics and politics—from the seventeenth century to the present, including a monograph titled Representing Public Credit: Credible Commitment, Fiction, and the Rise of the Financial Subject (2016).

Jennifer S. Henke is Assistant Professor at the University of Bremen, Germany. Her publications include topics ranging from Shakespeare in film to science and posthumanism. She is the author of the monograph Unsex Me Here (2014), and her second book deals with medicine and the pregnant female body in eighteenth-century literature and culture. 


Reviews

“The readership of this book will be as vast as the interests in drug history. … these are highly enjoyable essays, which, interestingly enough, provoke some sense of inebriation comparable to the object of their study. … a work to be enjoyed piece by piece, as a mental delight.” (Alain Touwaide, Doody's Book Reviews, March 5, 2021)


“This book provides valuable historical and artistic context for understanding today’s opioid epidemic by showing how literary writers thought about drugs in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The contributing scholars focus not on the poets’ and fiction writers’ own drug use but on the writers’ beliefs about how drugs--especially opium--influenced human brains according to the scientific and medical knowledge of their times. The individual case studies reveal not just how medical knowledge can shape literary forms but how humankind’s ongoing relationship with drugs is continually redefined by art and culture.” (Laura Otis, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of English, Emory University, USA) 

“This remarkable book offers an intersectional grouping of essays which analyse the psychopharmacological knowledges of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in cultural texts of the era. Multiple perspectives in medical humanities, literature, and science script an intriguing new story around these knowledges. The complex relational boundaries between our gendered bodies and our drugs are embedded in their historical contexts and the often ambiguous nature of psychoactive substances. Readers interested in the intertwined strands of science and culture will profit from spending some time with these insightful essays.” (Donald Bruce, Professor, School of Languages and Literatures, University of Guelph, Canada)

“This pioneering study of drug effects, not just addiction, in the nineteenth century ranges from opium to alcohol, lavender water, wormwood, and other herbal substances. Roxburgh and Henke have done a service for the fields of both medical humanities and literature and science by revealing the important role literary and cultural texts played in making possible the emergence of psychopharmacology in the next century.” (Jay Clayton, William R. Kenan Professor and Director of the Curb Center, Vanderbilt University, USA)

“This collection offers useful consideration of the history of late-eighteenth- and nineteenth-century pharmacology; its essays suggest all kinds of possibilities for new conversations about medical science and the literary imagination.” (Adam Colman, author of Drugs and the Addiction Aesthetic in Nineteenth-Century Literature (Palgrave Macmillan 2019))

Table of contents (13 chapters)

Table of contents (13 chapters)
  • Situating Psychopharmacology in Literature and Culture

    Pages 1-19

    Roxburgh, Natalie (et al.)

  • Historicising Keats’ Opium Imagery Through Neoclassical Medical and Literary Discourses

    Pages 23-46

    Cox, Octavia

  • “Grief’s Comforter, Joy’s Guardian, Good King Poppy!”: Opium and Victorian Poetry

    Pages 47-67

    Huber, Irmtraud

  • Dangerous Literary Substances: Discourses of Drugs and Dependence in the Nineteenth-Century Sensation Novel Debates

    Pages 69-89

    Frühwirth, Sarah

  • Blurring Plant and Human Boundaries: Erasmus Darwin’s The Loves of the Plants

    Pages 93-115

    Vaughn Cross, C. A.

Buy this book

eBook 93,08 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-53598-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 114,39 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-53597-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Psychopharmacology in British Literature and Culture, 1780–1900
Editors
  • Natalie Roxburgh
  • Jennifer S. Henke
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-53598-8
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-53598-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-53597-1
Series ISSN
2634-6435
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 302
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics