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Journal article 958 views 198 downloads

Impaired Children in Eighteenth-century England

David Turner Orcid Logo

Social History of Medicine, Volume: 30, Issue: 4, Start page: hkw128

Swansea University Author: David Turner Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1093/shm/hkw128

Abstract

People in the early modern period had long been fascinated by ‘monstrous births’ as portents, prodigies and scientific marvels, but during the eighteenth century attention began to turn to the ‘problem’ of children growing up with physical or sensory impairments. During the second half of the centur...

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Published in: Social History of Medicine
ISSN: 0951-631X 1477-4666
Published: 2017
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa30308
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Abstract: People in the early modern period had long been fascinated by ‘monstrous births’ as portents, prodigies and scientific marvels, but during the eighteenth century attention began to turn to the ‘problem’ of children growing up with physical or sensory impairments. During the second half of the century, against the backdrop of increasing professional interest in child health, the sentimentalisation of childhood, and growing concerns about the costs of a dependent ‘useless’ population, ‘imperfect’ children became publicly visible as targets for medical, philanthropic and pedagogical intervention. Using newspapers, child rearing and medical texts, this article examines causes of, and responses to, childhood impairment. While impaired children were often viewed as a ‘burden’, growing confidence in methods for restoring them to ‘utility’ began to set apart children with impairments from other people with disabilities.
Item Description: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Social History of Medicine following peer review.
Keywords: Disability, Children, Sentiment, Impairment, Representation
College: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Issue: 4
Start Page: hkw128