Transatlantic Irritability: Brunonian Sociology, America and Mass Culture in the Nineteenth Century

Gavin Budge, Megan Coyer (Editor)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The widespread influence exerted by the medical theories
of Scottish doctor, John Brown, whose eponymously named Brunonianism
radically simplified the ideas of his mentor, William Cullen,
has not been generally recognised. However, the very simplicity of the
Brunonian medical model played a key role in ensuring the dissemination
of medical ideas about nervous irritability and the harmful effects
of overstimulation in the literary culture of the nineteenth century
and shaped early sociological thinking. This chapter suggests the
centrality of these medical ideas, as mediated by Brunonianism, to the
understanding of Romanticism in the nineteenth century, and argues
that Brunonian ideas shaped nineteenth-century thinking about the
effects of mass print culture in ways which continue to influence
contemporary thinking about the effects of media.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScottish Medicine and Literary Culture, 1726-1832
EditorsMegan J. Coyer, David E. Shuttleton
Place of PublicationAmsterdam & New York
ISBN (Electronic)978-9401211734
ISBN (Print)978-9042038912
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2014

Publication series

NameClio Medica: Perspectives in Medical Humanities
ISSN (Print)0045-7183
ISSN (Electronic)0045-7183


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