Cover of the Tyranny of Treatment


The Tyranny of Treatment: Samuel Johnson, his friends and Georgian medicine 
Ed. Natasha McEnroe and Robin Simon 

The Tyranny of Treatment, with a foreword by Beryl Bainbridge, is a collection of essays by distinguished scholars on the subject of Dr Johnson, his circle of friends, their illnesses and treatment. It provides a vivid insight into a world without anaesthetic, where the ancient theory of the 'humours' still held sway, and very little understanding of how diseases could be transmitted or cured.

Dr Johnson and his friends emerge as heroes and survivors. Here, for example, is the horrific account of the novelist Fanny Burney's mastectomy, without anaesthetic, and written by the novelist herself. Dr Johnson's agonised stabbing of his swollen leg and testicle in his last few hours. And the sorry tale of Boswell's catalogue of venereal infections ...

Edited by Natasha McEnroe, Donald Hyde Curator at Dr Johnson's House from 1996-2006, and Robin Simon, editor of The British Art Journal

Published: 2003
Publisher: The British Art Journal in association with Dr Johnson's House Trust
ISBN: 0-9540420-6-9
Detail: Paperback, 52 pages, 210 x 150mm

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