Paper, Flesh and Bone: An Exploration of Giants’ Lives in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Britain

The eighteenth and nineteenth century saw an explosion in freak show performers and exhibitions. Anyone deemed ‘out of the ordinary’ had the potential to be displayed and exhibited, including giants. These giants performed to earn a living, yet whilst previous work by historians’ paint giants as passive performers who were exploited by entertainment managers and… Continue reading Paper, Flesh and Bone: An Exploration of Giants’ Lives in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Britain

Acknowledging His Last Wishes: Charles Byrne, The Irish Giant

Charles Byrne, otherwise known as the Irish Giant, died aged 22 in 1783. During his life he exhibited himself around the United Kingdom, attracting the attention of the public and the medical profession. Whilst the public, fascinated by his towering height, enjoyed his performances, the medical profession was intent on studying his body. They believed… Continue reading Acknowledging His Last Wishes: Charles Byrne, The Irish Giant

Nightingale’s Notes on Hospitals: The Realities of Implementing New Hospital Layouts in the Nineteenth Century

    Owing to relatively good health, the extent of my hospital visits begin and end at the phlebotomy department. Often quick visits, there is no time to study my environment. Yet the layout of hospitals sparked debate in the nineteenth century, so much so that during the latter half of the century, hospital environments… Continue reading Nightingale’s Notes on Hospitals: The Realities of Implementing New Hospital Layouts in the Nineteenth Century