Fear in the Medical and Literary Imagination, Medieval to ModernDreadful Passions
Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine
This book is about an emotion constantly present in human culture and history: fear. It is also a book about literature and medicine, two areas of human endeavour that engage with fear most acutely. The essays in this volume explore fear in various literary and medical manifestations, in the Western World, from medieval to modern times. It is divided into two parts. The first part, Treating Fear, examines fear in medical history, and draws from theology, medicine, philosophy, and psychology, to offer an account of how fear shifts in Western understanding from the Middle Ages to Modern times. The second part, Writing Fear, explores fear as a rhetorical and literary force, offering an account of how it is used and evoked in distinct literary periods and texts. This coherent and fascinating collection will appeal to medical historians, literary critics, cultural theorists, medical humanities’ scholars and historians of the emotions.
1. Introduction: A Dreadful Start - Daniel McCann and Claire McKechnie-Mason.- 2. “Frightened and Rather Feverish”: The Fear of Pain in Childbirth - Joanna Bourke.- 3. Dreadful: Aesthetic Fear in Victorian Reading - Pamela K. Gilbert.- 4. Damned Above Ground: Dreadful Despair in Elizabethan and Stuart Literature - Elizabeth Hunter.- 5. ‘Fear and sorrow without a just cause’: the place of fear in The Anatomy of Melancholy - Mary Ann Lund.- 6. Dreadful Health: Fear and ‘Sowle-hele’ in The Prickynge of Love - Daniel McCann.- 7. The Age of Noise and the Mass Dread of Quietude in Interwar Britain 1919-1939 - Neil Pemberton.- 8. Fears, Phobias and the Victorian Psyche - Sally Shuttleworth.- 9. “The Fearful Body in Contemporary Medical Television Drama and Medical Case Reports.” - Martin Willis.- 10. Fresh Terror, New Horror: Fear and the Unfamiliar in the Old English Exodus - Andy Orchard.
Daniel B. McCann is the Simon and June Li Fellow in Old and Middle English at Oxford University’s Lincoln College. Claire McKechnie-Mason is a management officer at NHS Cardiff.
- Reveals fresh perspectives on current central concerns in the medical humanities, such as the subjective experience of illness, narrative medicine, the medicinal gaze, and the doctor-patient relationship - Examines how literature and medicine engage with fear from medieval to modern times, and the responses evoked in these contexts- Looks at the narrative nature and impact of fear in literature, history, and culture
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