‘Visual and Material Culture in the History of Medicine’
Conveners: Sloan Mahone and Erica Charters
Week 2 – 26 January
Georgiana Hedesan, University of Oxford
A gold rush: Francis Anthony and the search for an universal gold medicine, 1600-1620
Posterity has not been kind with Francis Anthony (1550-1623), a Cambridge physician peddling a ‘potable gold’ medicine at the turn of the 17th century. However, Anthony was highly reputed in the period as an alchemical adept and follower of Paracelsus’s doctrine. He was part of a number of prominent alchemical philosophers keen on harnessing the virtues of gold for medical purposes. This presentation analyses the alchemical ideas and practices surrounding gold and golden remedies at the beginning of the 17th century.
Georgiana Hedesan is a Wellcome Trust Fellow in Medical Humanities at the University of Oxford, with a project on universal medicine and prolongation of life in seventeenth-century alchemical thought.