Things I learned on the way to the Regency.

I love reading non-fiction history, which is a good thing since I have to do a lot of research when I write my novels. Right now, my focus is Regency England, the era of Jane Austen, Waterloo, Trafalgar, Napoleon, Byron and Empire waistlines. I love picking up interesting facts and tidbits from this time period.  Today, I thought I'd share some of those facts about the Regency, especially in regards to medicine. Here are a few of my favorite discoveries.

- Nitrous Oxide - Discovered in 1775 by Joseph Priestley and used by Dr. Humphry Davy in the late 1700s and early 1800s to get high. Dr. Davy suggested its use as an aid to surgery but no one picked up on the idea until the 1840s.

- Maternity Hospitals - They've been around longer than you think. Lying-in hospitals as they were originally known, began to appear in London in the mid-seventeenth century. The Queen Charlotte Maternity Hospital began its life in the early seventeenth century as the General Lying-In Hospital. It was renamed the Queen Charlotte Maternity Hospital in 1813 in honor of the Queen's generous patronage.

- Surgeons - By the Regency, improvements in surgical techniques and practices increased the reputation of surgeons. No longer viewed a simply barber butchers, they became a part of the established medical system, receiving and contributing to formal medical education.

- Antiseptics - Dr. Davy joins us again, this time as one of many scientists working to define the newly discovered iodine. Although people understood that vinegar, wine and thyme could stop wounds from becoming infected, the lack of germ theory prevented the widespread use of antiseptics until the late nineteenth century.

After discovering the above, I am once again very thankful for modern medicine.

If you're interested in the Regency era, please check out my Regency romance, Lady's Wager or visit my website


Carie Spence said...

I'll have to check these out as I am in love with "Downtown Abbey."
Thank you for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest board.

Georgie Lee said...

Thank you Carie for stopping by and for pinning the post. Have a great week!

NC Sue said...

Thank you for sharing your photos at the new home for Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) at I hope to see you each week!

Janet Camilleri said...

I find historical trivia absolutely fascinating - ditto historical romance novels ;-)

Visiting today from #teamIBOT xxx

EssentiallyJess said...

I never knew maternity hospitals were around that long ago! That's kinda cool

Joy said...

How interesting. I had no idea that maternity hospitals were so early or antiseptics so late.

Joy's Book Blog

Brona Joy said...

Did you know there is month long meme at Lost Generation Reader called Austen in August?
Sounds like it might be your cup of tea :-)

April @ 100lb Countdown said...

I'm not a big fan of history, although I know I am more interested in it as time goes on. It's such a big part of the foundation of our world that I need to dig in deeper! Thanks for sharing.

Your co-host from Creative Style Linkup ~~April~~

Georgie Lee said...

Thanks Brona. I will check it out!

Tina at said...

Really fascinating stuff! One of my favorite Regency authors, Julie Klassen, includes a lot of stuff like this in her books. She has one with lots of info about early pharmacies, one about breastfeeding beliefs and practices, etc. Really fascinating and she's a great storyteller too, must like yourself! Thanks for sharing it at Booknificent Thursday last week! Hope to see you again this week.