The Anatomy of Drunkenness (1834)


The Anatomy of Drunkenness, by Robert Macnish, fifth edition; 1834; W.R. M’Phun, Glasgow.

The expanded fifth edition of Robert Macnish’s The Anatomy of Drunkenness, a work by the Glaswegian surgeon, first published in 1827, and based on his doctoral thesis of a year two years earlier. The book examines inebriety from a wide range of angles: although that caused by alcohol is the main focus, he also explores use of opium (popular at the time), tobacco, nitrous oxide, and also other various poisons, such as hemlock, “bangue” (cannabis), foxglove and nightshade. Included in his examination are some wonderful descriptions of the different kinds of drunk according to alcohol type, methods for cutting drunkenness short, and an outlining of the seven different types of drunkard (Sanguineous, Melancholy, Surly, Phlegmatic, Nervous, Choleric and Periodical). The seventh chapter of the book examines the phenomenon of “spontaneous combustion” which apparently tends to strike drunkards in particular.

Housed at: Internet Archive | From: Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine via Medical Heritage Library
Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: Pending Clarification
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