Vol. 7 No. 1: Summer 2016

Victorian Brain

Sally Shuttleworth, Professor of English (University of Oxford)

In April 1878 the first issue of Brain: A Journal of Neurology was published. Edited by the eminent psychiatrists J. C. Bucknill and James Crichton-Browne, and by the rising stars in the field of experimental and clinical studies of the brain, David Ferrier and John Hughlings Jackson, it sought to lay claim to a new disciplinary territory: neurology. An index of the journal’s self-conscious modernity in its use of this term is perhaps to be found in the fact that nearly a century and a half later it is still a leading journal in the field, and publishing under exactly the same title. 1 Indeed, there are even similarities in format, with clinical case studies accompanied by articles addressing medical issues of the day, such as ‘brain forcing’ of school children, or effects of alcohol on the brain, in the 1878 volume, matched by short pieces on the Zika virus and Alzheimer’s, in recent issues. 2 Such apparent similarity and continuity of course also masks major shifts. (...) Read the full text here.

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Published: 2016-10-22