The health of the stomach has always been the subject of intense medical and popular interest. Yet despite this it is an area of medical, social and cultural history that has previously been neglected as a topic of analytical enquiry. This study is the first exploration of the complex relationship between the abdomen and modern British society. It traces the development of the management of gastric conditions by various, often competing, members of the medical profession, detailing conflict between the ideas and values of surgeons, physicians, psychologists and gastroenterologists. Not simply a history of medicine, the work uses material drawn from both the medical profession and popular culture to explain why the myriad experiences of the stomach and its illnesses have regularly occupied prominent positions in British society and cultural thought. Miller demonstrates how the framework of ideas and concepts established in medicine related to gastric illness often reflected wider social issues including industrialization and the impact of wartime anxiety upon the inner body.
Introduction: History and the Stomach 1 The National Stomach: Indigestion and Nineteenth-Century British Society: An Overview 2 The Ulcerated Stomach: Gastric Diagnosis and the Reorganisation of Medical Knowledge, c.1800-1860 3 The Laboratory Stomach: Gastric Analysis in an Era of Vivisection and Force-Feeding Controversies, c.1870-1920 4 The Surgical Stomach: Berkeley Moynihan's Surgical Revolution and Duodenal Ulcer Disease, c.1880-1920 5 The Psychosomatic Stomach: British Society, Wartime Dyspepsia and the Return of the Patient, c.1920-1945 Concluding Remarks