Dr Adrian  Wilson

Dr Adrian Wilson

Senior Lecturer in History of Medicine

+44 (0)113 343 3261

Summary: History of Childbirth; English Voluntary Hospitals, 1750-1850; History of Pathology; Historical Theory; Literary Theory.

Adrian Wilson is a historian of early-modern medicine.

His main area of research is the history of midwifery, focusing chiefly on English developments but situating these within a wider European frame; in this field he has published one monograph and is working on two others.

He is also interested in the long-term development of Western medicine, particularly in the role of anatomy - the remarkable process by which the study of the dead body came to play a foundational role in the understanding of the living patient; and exploring this theme has led him to work on the history of disease concepts.

He also has a long-standing interest in the historical epistemology, which has led him into the realm of literary theory.

Research Interests

  • History of Childbirth
  • English Voluntary Hospitals 1750-1850
  • History of Conceptions of the Body
  • Historical Epistemology
  • Literary Theory

Selected Publications 

  • 'Midwifery in the "medical marketplace"', in Mark Jenner and Patrick Wallis eds., Medicine and the Market in Early Modern England (London, Palgrave Macmillan 2007), 153-74
  • 'Porter versus Foucault on the "birth of the clinic"', in Roberta Bivins and John Pickstone eds., Medicine, Madness and Social History: essays in honour of Roy Porter (London, Palgrave Macmillan 2007), 25-35
    'Foucault on the "Question of the Author": A Critical Exegesis', Modern Language Review 99 (2004), 339-63.
  • 'The Birmingham General Hospital and its Public, 1765-79', in Medicine, Health and the Public Sphere in Britain, 1600-2000, ed. by Steve Sturdy (London: Routledge, 2002), 85-106
  • 'Collingwood's Forgotten Historiographic Revolution', Collingwood Studies, 8 (2001), 6-72.
  • 'On the History of Disease Concepts: The Case of Pleurisy', History of Science 38 (2000), 271-319.
  • 'Conflict, Consensus and Charity: Politics and the Provincial Voluntary Hospitals in the Eighteenth Century', English Historical Review 111 (1996), 599-619.
  • 'A Memorial of Eleanor Willughby, a Seventeenth-Century Midwife', in Women, Science and Medicine 1500-1700: Mothers and Sisters of the Royal Society, ed. by Lynette Hunter and Sarah Hutton (Stroud: Sutton, 1997), 138-77.
  • (ed.) Rethinking Social History: English Society 1570-1930 and its Interpretation (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995).
    The Making of Man-Midwifery: Childbirth in England, 1660-1770 (London: UCL Press and Cambridge MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1995).
  • 'The Perils of Early-Modern Procreation: Childbirth With or Without Fear?', British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 16 (1993), 1-19.
    'The Politics of Medical Improvement in Early Hanoverian London', in The Medical Enlightenment of the Eighteenth Century, ed. by A. Cunningham and R. French (Cambridge: CUP, 1990), 4-39.

Downloadable versions of papers freely available via White Rose Research Online