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    The survival of suggestion: Charles Lloyd Tuckey and British medical hypnotism (1888-1914)

    Bates, Gordon (2021) The survival of suggestion: Charles Lloyd Tuckey and British medical hypnotism (1888-1914). PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    The emergence of therapeutic hypnotism or suggestive therapy at the end of the nineteenth century in Britain has been conceived as a primitive, irrelevant or even preposterous form of fringe medicine. However, this thesis argues that hypnotism while dismissed for its associations with spiritualism, popular Victorian entertainment and quackery, can be profitably understood as an important form of early psychotherapy and a potent technique for inducing the body’s own healing through the placebo effect. It centres on the life of Charles Lloyd Tuckey, a successful London society doctor who was the first to advocate the ‘New Hypnotism’ in the United Kingdom despite strong resistance within the general public and the medical profession. Largely overlooked, Lloyd Tuckey’s life, work and correspondence shed light on a significant occluded chapter of both medical history and popular culture, and the intersection and interaction of the two. Offering new critical and historical approaches, this thesis provides insights into the reasons for the improbable success of the New Hypnotists. It highlights the importance of the change of explanatory model from the medical doctrine of imagination to the emerging psychology movement’s novel concept of ‘suggestion’. It employs Gieryn’s concept of boundary-work to look at the battle for legitimacy within medical culture. It considers this in relation to the societal response to hypnotism and suggestion in popular culture as demonstrated by the contemporary gentleman’s periodicals and the ubiquity of hypnotism in late Victorian gothic fiction. Analysed in this literary and historical context, Tuckey’s life story helps to rehabilitate an alternative non-Freudian British account of early eclectic mind cures, which has been previously neglected due to the dominant revisionist accounts of Freudian scholars. It also provides useful lessons for contemporary practice: understanding the historiography of orthodox medical histories and the importance and enigma of the placebo effect.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2021 13:20
    Last Modified: 10 Sep 2021 13:20


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