New book - The Patent Medicines Industry in Georgian England
We are delighted to announce the publication of Alan Mackintosh's new book on the history of medicine, business and print.
In this book, Dr Mackintosh explores the ownership, distribution and sale of patent medicines across Georgian England, transforming our understanding of healthcare provision and the use of the printed word in that era. Patent medicines constituted a national industry which was largely popular, reputable and stable, not the visible manifestation of dishonest quackery as described later by doctors and many historians. Much of the distribution, promotion and sale of patent medicines was centrally controlled with directed advertising, specialisation, fixed prices and national procedures, and for the first time we can see the detailed working of a national market for a class of Georgian consumer goods. Furthermore, contemporaries were aware that changes in the consumers’ ‘imagination’ increased the benefits of patent medicines above the effects of their pharmaceutical components. As the imagination was altered by the printed word, print can be considered as an essential ingredient of patent medicines. This book will challenge the assumptions of all those interested in the medical, business or print history of the period.
The Patent Medicines Industry in Georgian England: Constructing the Market by the Potency of Print:
- Reveals that patent medicines constituted a national industry in Georgian England, challenging accounts of dishonest quackery described later by doctors and historians.
- Offers insight into the workings of a national market for Georgian consumer goods, beyond studies of individual companies or wholesalers.
- Opens up a new area of research for print historians, investigating the effect of the printed word on human health.
Dr Alan Mackintosh is Research Fellow in the Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Leeds. He is a former Consultant Cardiologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, and Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Leeds. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and of the European Society of Cardiology.