• The difference between an aurist and a surgeon?

    “…quacks, and aurists, get reputation for syringing the ear, when surgeons lose it; not because the quack has more knowledge of his profession, but because he takes more pains than the surgeon.” -Unknown, c.1828/1829. (Yes, I’m still holed up in the British Library reading 19th century treatises on aural surgery)

  • On Pretended and Itinerant Aurists

    As focused as I’ve been on John Harrison Curtis, my current research focus has branched out, exploring a seeming network of aurists that also practiced in London during Curtis’ time. William Wright (1773-1860), as I’ve mentioned previously, was one of Curtis’ contemporaries, and perhaps his most fierce and prominent competitor. Wright had a very long career–nearly 50… Continue Reading

  • Trust in Quacks

    Lacking a proper medical degree or the right sorts of qualifications were often indicators for defining the quack medical practitioner. Or so it was accordingly to the Royal College of Physicians, who were always wary of their financial state in the medical marketplace. Yet the lay public were not always clear as to who the… Continue Reading