Mislabelling and the Medical Printer-Publisher: Demystifying the Ephemera of Elizabeth Rane Cox (1765-1841)

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Abstract

Medical bookselling was, and continues to be, a trade adjacent to while facilitating the medical professions. It required working within a network of medical practitioners and authors, and a successful business depended upon keeping up to date with the latest medical innovations, scholarship, and celebrities. It was one of the trades in which women could openly participate, bookselling and printing being in this period predominantly family businesses, conducted from the family home, and therefore co-opting the labour of women and children but without them necessarily receiving the credit for that work. While printing and bookselling continue to be the trades most often considered in scholarship exploring eighteenth and nineteenth-century individuals in the book trades, the recovery of jobbing print work has been much more difficult, and rarely do we get a sense of the entrepreneurs, and especially female entrepreneurs, who carved their own niche in the marketplace. In the early years of the nineteenth century, when medical labelling remained in a state of chaos, Elizabeth Cox née Rane (1765-1841) referred to herself when writing her will in 1840 as a ‘Medical Bookseller Labeller &c’ by trade.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMyth and (Mis)information
Subtitle of host publicationConstructing the Medical Professions in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century English Literature and Culture
EditorsAllan Ingram, Clark Lawlor, Helen Williams
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
Chapter8
Pages153-173
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781526166838
ISBN (Print)9781526166821
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2024

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