Quackery in Christchurch 1850-1900

Rice, Geoffrey. W,


3 in stock

3 in stock

Quackery is most simply defined as medical practice that has no scientific basis, yet, thanks to the COVID pandemic, alternative medicines and treatments are again on the rise all over the world. Mainstream doctors have always warned against placing reliance on patent medicines, herbs, homeopathy, phrenology, mesmerism, galvanism, hypnosis, spiritualism, clairvoyants or faith healers. Quacks have historically been charlantans who make money from people’s hopes and fears with worthless promises of miracle cures.
Nineteenth century Christchurch had a colourful collection of quacks, both resident and visiting. Captain George Wilson was the city’s resident mesmerist for many years, while Joseph Ffrost was its leading phrenologist, and Dr Notman its resident electro-biologist. But they had to compete with an increasing procession of visiting quacks who were as much entertainers as whould-be healers. Dr Carr was the most notorious of the mesmerists, and George Milner Stephen the most famous of the visiting faith-healers. In the 1890s, Christchurch saw a steady succession of spiritualists, hypnotists, and palm-readers, all preying on the more gullible members of the public.
This book is based on exhaustive research in the newspapers of the day, not only from advertismements, but also descriptions of mesmeric seances.

Format: Paperback
Imprint: Small New Zealand Publisher
Publication date: 01/12/2023

ISBN: 9780473693701 Category: