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Charles Bell and the Anatomy of Reform$
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Carin Berkowitz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226280394

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226280424.001.0001

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Politics and Patronage

Politics and Patronage

Building a Career in London’s Medical Classrooms

(p.14) Chapter One Politics and Patronage
Charles Bell and the Anatomy of Reform

Carin Berkowitz

University of Chicago Press

When Charles Bell moved to London in 1804, he knew no one in the city. In London, Bell worked to set up a private anatomy school on the model of his brother’s, he established himself in social and professional circles, and he courted patrons. This chapter follows these efforts to establish himself within scientific and medical circles and to build for himself a network of supporters. Bell began to establish ideas about systematizing medical education in these early years in London. He also attempted to create a space for himself in various communities that were connected to his classrooms, publishing on art (in his Essays on the Anatomy of Expression in Painting), surgery (in A System of Operative Surgery), and on the anatomy of the nerves. His research on the brain and nerves soon became Bell’s primary focus. His contribution to that field, as he began to develop it in those early years, would be to bring elegance and order to the brain and nerves, finding within their anatomy a rational system that would reflect the beauty of nature and appeal to natural philosophers and medical men alike.

Keywords:   patronage networks, natural philosophy, museum, teaching, Anatomy and the Fine Arts, discovery, Essays on the Anatomy of Expression in Painting, A System of Operative Surgery, Idea of a New Anatomy of the Brain

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