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7 December 1989
Health for Sale: Quackery in England 1660-1850 
by Roy Porter.
Manchester, 280 pp., £19.95, August 1989, 0 7190 1903 6
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Popular Errors 
by Laurent Joubert and Gregory David de Rocher.
University of Alabama Press, 348 pp., $49.95, July 1989, 0 8173 0408 8
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Bread of Dreams: Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Europe 
by Piero Camporesi, translated by David Gentilcore.
Polity, 212 pp., £19.50, May 1989, 0 7456 0349 1
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Poisons of the Past: Molds, Epidemics and History 
by Mary Kilbourne Matossian.
Yale, 190 pp., £18, November 1989, 0 300 03949 2
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... in pre-modern times seems to have had all too little to offer other than a bedside manner and thumping doses of purgatives. The point emerges clearly from Gregory de Rocher’s translation of LaurentJoubert’s Popular Errors, of 1578, a ‘frantic attempt’, writes de Rocher, ‘at parrying the fierce blows to the power and prestige of physicians dealt by practical medicine’. Joubert was ...

A Laugh a Year

Jonathan Beckman: The Smile

17 June 2015
The Smile Revolution in Eighteenth-Century Paris 
by Colin Jones.
Oxford, 231 pp., £22.99, September 2014, 978 0 19 871581 8
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... Hobbes wrote (though when off duty he was, Aubrey said, a man of ‘merry humour’). Laughter was valuable as a reproach for absurd or wicked behaviour, but it could easily become improper. LaurentJoubert, a 16th-century doctor, makes laughter sound as unwelcome as a heart attack, what with the redness of the face, the sweat that sometimes comes out of the entire body, the sparkling of the ...

Do hens have hands?

Adam Smyth: Editorial Interference

5 July 2012
The Culture of Correction in Renaissance Europe (Panizzi Lectures) 
by Anthony Grafton.
British Library, 144 pp., £30, September 2011, 978 0 7123 5845 3
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... meanderings between command and fulfilment, and the poem becomes an example of the literary and moral riches that error can produce. Catalogues of errors became bestsellers in Renaissance Europe. LaurentJoubert, physician to Catherine de Medici and Henry III, wrote two volumes on what Montaigne called ‘the vast and troubled sea of medical error’, including, in Les Erreurs populaires (1579 ...

Nodding and Winking

Stephen W. Smith: Françafrique

11 February 2010
... later, dynastic rule can only lead to a shake-up in Libreville – and that’s the last thing we want.’ In fact, the shake-up happened in Paris. In September, after the election in Gabon, Bruno Joubert, Sarkozy’s main Africa hand, was shunted off to the embassy in Morocco. Here he may well have reminisced about a meeting he had had, shortly after his arrival at the Elysée, with Eric Silla, then ...

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