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About the book:

This is the first comprehensive study on a national scale of the entire range of medical practitioners who flourished in preindustrial and early industrial societies. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, it provides a richly detailed examination of medical practice as it existed in France during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Professor Ramsey argues that to penetrate this world, in many ways strangely different from our own, we must join two lines of inquiry: the history of the professions and the history of popular culture. The book considers not only the immediate ancestors of the modern medical profession - university-trained physicians who followed a liberal calling and surgeons who practiced a manual craft - but also the highly diverse group of practitioners who worked without legal authorization: traveling charlatans, local 'urine scanners,' folk healers using herbs and charms, counterwitches, and a great many ordinary people in other trades.

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