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© 2015

The Neurological Emergence of Epilepsy

The National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic (1870-1895)

  • First historical account on National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic

  • Presents the nineteenth-century turn towards the neurological study of the human brain and the various political, social, ideological and epistemological implications of this major rupture

  • Focuses on epilepsy’s emergence as a purely neurological disorder

Book

Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 305)

Table of contents

About this book

Introduction

This book explores the emergence of epilepsy as a purely neurological disorder, in the second half of the nineteenth century. It focuses on the world’s first neurological hospital, the National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic in London, and on its leading figure, John Hughlings Jackson (1835-1911). Through an analysis of the National Hospital’s medical records and a historical account of the course of epilepsy until our time, this book presents the nineteenth-century turn towards the scientific study of the human brain and the various political, social, ideological and epistemological implications of this major change. In spite of the recent trend of describing the history of mental illness, mental patients and psychiatric institutions, so far, neurology, epilepsy and epileptic patients have largely remained outside the scope of social historians, historians of medicine and social scientists. This book has the ambition to fill that gap. ​

Keywords

History of Epilepsy History of Neurology Human Brain Industrial Revolution John Hughlings Jackson’s Case Notes Modern Epilepsy National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic Neurological Disorder Scientific and Methodical Analyses Social and Cultural History of Medicine Sociology of Epileptics Steven Shapin Victorian England and the Historical Study of Epilepsy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.National and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

About the authors

Vasia Lekka was born in Athens, in 1981. Having graduated from the German School of Athens, she studied History at the department of History and Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece (2003). She continued her postgraduate studies in Cultural History (MA in Modern History – History & Culture) at the University of York, UK (2005). In 2009, she defended successfully her doctoral thesis at the department of History and Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. The title of her thesis was “The medical foundation of modern epilepsy: the case of the National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic (1870-1895)”. She did her research for the PhD as a fellow of the Marie Curie Fellowships. Building on the Past: European Doctorate in the Social History of Europe and the Mediterranean (University College London, UK). From the academic year 2010-2011, she teaches as a teaching assistant the courses “History and Theory of Psychiatry” and “Introduction to the History of Medicine II”, at the department of Philosophy and History of Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. In 2010, she worked as a researcher at the National Hellenic Research Foundation and in 2012, she worked as a researcher on behalf of the “John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation”. She has participated in several Greek and international academic conferences and workshops. In November 2012, her book entitled History and Theory of Psychiatry. From Hippocrates to anti-psychiatry and Michel Foucault was published by “futura Publishing House”. She has also published several articles in Greek and international academic journals and collective volumes. She speaks three languages fluently (English, German, French). Her main academic interests are focusing on the history of psychiatry, the social and cultural history of medicine, and epistemology.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Neurological Emergence of Epilepsy
  • Book Subtitle The National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic (1870-1895)
  • Authors Vasia Lekka
  • Series Title Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
  • Series Abbreviated Title Boston Stud. Philosophy
  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-06293-8
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-06292-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-35363-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-06293-8
  • Series ISSN 0068-0346
  • Series E-ISSN 2214-7942
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIII, 209
  • Number of Illustrations 12 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics History of Science
    Neurosciences
    Public Health
  • Buy this book on publisher's site

Reviews

“Lekka’s book is an attracting work containing many important documents, materials, data and it deals with them from a well-focused perspective, raising far-reaching questions. It aims to be ‘a sociology of epilepsy and epileptics in late Victorian England’ … . the work had more potential than it has realized.” (Adam Tamas Tuboly, Review of History of Philosophy of Science Books, reviewhopos.blogspot.com, Vol. 1 (3), 2019)

From the book reviews:

“This book provides a fascinating glimpse into a group of neurological disorders during the later years of Victorian England. Works of this type will appeal to students, practitioners, and historians … . Neurologists, medical students, medical sociologists, and historians of medicine will appreciate it. … This is a unique work that contributes to our understanding of British neurology by examining the medical records of a notable physician’s patients from the late 19th century.” (Elizabeth Connor, Doody’s Book Reviews, August, 2014)