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Health care in the Georgian household of Sir William and Lady Hannah East

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Abstract

This article considers the manner in which a late Georgian family managed ill health. The source, Lady Hannah East's diary, covers the period from January 1791 to June 1792. She records her own ailments as well as the daily care that she and others gave her husband, Sir William East, Baronet, during an eight-week period when he suffered an attack of gout. Cognisant of cultural context, this manuscript sheds new light on the English medical landscape, and specifically on attitudes to medication, to regimen and to medical practitioners. In addition, it reveals much about the relevance of personal relationships between spouses, within the family and with servants and neighbours when sickness struck.

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