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Healing Words

The Printed Handbills of Early Modern London Quacks

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Roberta Mullini

During the English Restoration, London unlicensed health carers printed handbills as the easiest way to advertise their medical practices. In order to increase our awareness of irregular medical practitioners as a cultural phenomenon and examine their language, two collections of handbills have been transcribed. The study analyses the lexicon used to address readers, the traits of orality in written communication as well as the places where proprietary medicines were sold. Furthermore it looks closely at the visual impact of some handbills and the role of anti-quack satire at the end of the seventeenth century.
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