Graphic Surgical Practice in the Handbills of Seventeenth-Century London Irregulars

  • Roberta Mullini
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine book series (PLSM)


The chapter presents the multimodal analysis of three handbills printed for irregular medical practitioners (especially surgeons) in the second half of the seventeenth century. These cultural artefacts, besides describing irregulars’ usually multiple medicaments, include conspicuous images and/or particular fonts used to catch the reader’s eye and improve sales, thus showing their authors’ sophisticated care for typography. The chapter considers how such details interacted with the language of advertising in the early stages of mass communication and marketing procedures. It is this interaction between linguistic and visual features that can lead to such a reversal of status between text and images that words may be interpreted as paratextual additions to visual texts. In conclusion, a source of one of the images is pinpointed so as to show how irregulars popularised scientific publications.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberta Mullini
    • 1
  1. 1.Università di Urbino Carlo BoUrbinoItaly

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