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Palgrave Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Medicine

Bodily Fluids, Chemistry and Medicine in the Eighteenth-Century Boerhaave School

Authors: Verwaal, Ruben

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  • Explores the importance of bodily fluids to the development of medical knowledge in the eighteenth century
  • Reveals the lives and works of the scientists in the Boerhaave School, which grew to become a European-wide community of physicians and chemists  
  • Shows how chemical experimentation on bodily fluids allowed doctors to gain a better understanding of physiological processes, reinventing ancient humoral theory
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-51541-6
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About this book

This book explores the importance of bodily fluids to the development of medical knowledge in the eighteenth century. While the historiography has focused on the role of anatomy, this study shows that the chemical analyses of bodily fluids in the Dutch Republic radically altered perceptions of the body, propelling forwards a new system of medicine. It examines the new research methods and scientific instruments available at the turn of the eighteenth century that allowed for these developments, taken forward by Herman Boerhaave and his students. Each chapter focuses on a different bodily fluid – saliva, blood, urine, milk, sweat, semen – to investigate how doctors gained new insights into physiological processes through chemical experimentation on these bodily fluids. The book reveals how physicians moved from a humoral theory of medicine to new chemical and mechanical models for understanding the body in the early modern period. In doing so, it uncovers the lives and works of an important group of scientists which grew to become a European-wide community of physicians and chemists.

About the authors

Ruben E. Verwaal is NWO Rubicon Research Fellow at the Institute for Medical Humanities, Durham University, and curator of the medical collections at the Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam. He specialises in history of early modern science and medicine, material culture, and critical medical humanities. 

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 74,89 €
price for India (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-51541-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 89,99 €
price for India (gross)

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Bodily Fluids, Chemistry and Medicine in the Eighteenth-Century Boerhaave School
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Medieval and Early Modern 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
978-3-030-51541-6
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-51541-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-51540-9
Series ISSN
2524-7387
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 295
Topics