The changing discourses connected with health

2 February 2010

 Starter activity: brainstorm the times when you were ill when you were a child. What did your carers say to you in connection with your illness? What are your memories of your first trip to the doctors, to hospitals? What language did people use to describe your illnesses etc? What did they say to comfort you?

Learning Objective: to learn how and why the discourses about health have changed over time.

This advertisement for a London Quack doctor dates back to 1650. The doctor, who lived in Gun-Powder Alley, claimed to be able to predict the future, answering questions on a range of subjects from marriage and riches to fertility and professional success. He could also tell patients whether their ‘sicknesse be curable or mortall’, and had ‘ready prepared the most approved remedies for all diseases…that are curable.’

Taken from: Quack Doctors’ Advertisement “Without Offense…”
Author / Creator: Unknown
Date: 1650
Copyright: © The British Library Board

Advertisement for a Quack Doctor

Without offence to the Lawes of God and

Man: onely by Mathematicall Arts and Naturall Sci-

ences: A certaine true and probable Answer may be

given to any lawfull demaund whatsoever, as by the testimoney of the

Learned among all Nations, and in all ages, and innumeralbe Examples

of our owne experience have invincibly confirmed.

3 Of the Complexion of the body: and the Inclination of th eminde.

2 Of Riches, and pverty, how, and when they shall happen.

3 Of Marriage, the number, quality, time and place.

4 Of Children, if few, or many, their sexe and disposition.

5 Of Travailes, the time, the part of the World, and the evenet.

6 Of the Profession, Trade and manner of life.

7 Of Dignity grace, and disgrace, and from whom.

8 Of Friends and Enemies, and th eevent of their love or hatred.

9 Whether any that is Absent be alive? how? and where?

10 Whether any shall have riches, and at what time?

11 Whether a Partner of Factor be just and faithfull?

12 Whether a Man shall marry that Woman he desireth?

13 Whether a Woman be apt to have Children?

‘Five Minutes Advice on the Bath Waters’ was first published in 1843. The book discusses the restorative effects of drinking and bathing in Bath mineral waters. The author states in the preface that many of the advantages of Bath waters can be experienced in the home, if the right products are purchased. This means that patients may avoid ‘the annoyance and expense attendant upon distant travelling, frequently so prejudicial to persons in delicate health.’ The book also contains an array of advertisements for various potions and pills.

2010 Website

Chapel Spa invites you to join us on our unique path of life; a journey of relaxation, rebalancing and uplifting to a place of harmony where you can escape from the outside world.

Your wellbeing is our priority, and in the beautiful and individual surroundings of the Portland Chapel, built in 1812, we have recreated a haven of security, warmth and inner calm to reflect its original purpose. Our hospitality and holistic approach in caring for our client’s individual needs are interwoven into the tapestry of the Spa and all we offer. Hidden away is our retreat of calm and tranquillity; the perfect place for daydreaming while you let your cares dissolve.

Lit by flickering candlelight, while gentle sounds and scents drift over you, your body will feel at peace as you lie back on the soft loungers to the hypnotic bubbling of the spa pool. The Hydrotherapy Pool is the centrepiece to the spa and will massage your body from head to toe, with stimulating jets of water to invigorate and loosen the muscles.

Give your body a boost by stepping into the Steam Room with its moist aromatic atmosphere designed to ease away stresses and strains. The humidity helps to purify and detoxify the body and your respiratory system will feel the benefits too.

your comment

for students