A Modern History of the Stomach: Gastric Illness, Medicine and British Society, 1800-1950

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The health of the stomach has always been the subject of intense medical and popular interest. Yet despite this it is an area of medical, social and cultural history that has previously been neglected as a topic of analytical enquiry. This study is the first exploration of the complex relationship between the abdomen and modern British society. It traces the development of the management of gastric conditions by various, often competing, members of the medical profession, detailing conflict between the ideas and values of surgeons, physicians, psychologists and gastroenterologists.Not simply a history of medicine, the work uses material drawn from both the medical profession and popular culture to explain why the myriad experiences of the stomach and its illnesses have regularly occupied prominent positions in British society and cultural thought. Miller demonstrates how the framework of ideas and concepts established in medicine related to gastric illness often reflected wider social issues including industrialization and the impact of wartime anxiety upon the inner body.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPickering & Chatto
Number of pages208
ISBN (Print)978-1848931817
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 May 2011


  • history of stomach
  • history of gastric illness
  • history of indigestion
  • stress and the stomach


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