Roy Porter

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Roy Sydney Porter (born December 31, 1946 , † March 3, 2002 ) was a British historian who was best known for his contributions to medical history .


Porter grew up in London and attended Wilson's School in Camberwell .

He won a scholarship to Christ's College of Cambridge University , where he studied under JH Plumb. His fellow students included u. a. Simon Schama and Andrew Wheatcroft. After an excellent first degree, he became a Junior Fellow in 1968 , studying with Robert M. Young. In 1972 Porter moved to Churchill College as a history tutor and later became Dean. He received his doctorate in 1974 with a thesis on the history of geology .

In 1979 Porter moved to the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine as a professor . In 1993 he became Professor of Social History there . The British Academy elected him a member in 1994, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998. Porter retired in September 2001 and died five months later of a heart attack. One of his last books was The Enlightenment ( Engl. The Enlightenment ).

Porter was the author or editor of around 80 books. In addition to the history of medicine, the social history of the 18th century in the Kingdom of Great Britain and the era of the Enlightenment were preferred topics of his research. He also wrote and taught on the history of London.

Fonts (selection)

  • as editor with Mikuláš Teich: The Enlightenment in National Context. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge et al. 1981, ISBN 0-521-23757-2 .
  • English Society in the Eighteenth Century. Lane, London 1982, ISBN 0-7139-1417-3 .
  • Disease, Medicine and Society in England 1550-1860. Macmillan, Houndmills et al. 1987, ISBN 0-333-39865-3 .
  • The enlightenment. Macmillan Education, Basingstoke 1990, ISBN 0-333-45414-6 (In German: Little history of the Enlightenment (= Wagenbach's pocket library . 192). Translated from the English by Ebba D. Drolshagen . Wagenbach, Berlin 1991, ISBN 3-8031- 2192-2 ).
  • as editor: The Popularization of Medicine. 1650-1850. Routledge, London et al. 1992, ISBN 0-415-07217-4 .
  • as editor with William F. Bynum: Companion Encyclopedia of the History of Medicine. 2 volumes. Routledge, London et al. 1993, ISBN 0-415-04771-4 .
  • London. A social history. Hamilton, London 1994, ISBN 0-241-12944-3 .
  • with Lesley Hall: The Facts of Life. The Creation of Sexual Knowledge in Britain. 1650-1950. Yale University Press, New Haven CT et al. 1995, ISBN 0-300-06221-4 .
  • as editor with Mikuláš Teich: Drugs and Narcotics in History. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1995, ISBN 0-521-43163-8 .
  • The Greatest Benefit to Mankind. A Medical History of Humanity from Antiquity to the Present. HarperCollins, London 1997, ISBN 0-00-215173-1 (In German: The Art of Healing. A Medical History of Mankind from Antiquity to Today. Translated from English by Jorunn Wißmann. Spectrum - Academic Publishing House, Heidelberg / Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-8274-0472-X ).
  • as editor: Rewriting the Self. Histories from the Renaissance to the Present. Routledge London et al. 1997, ISBN 0-415-14279-2 .
  • Enlightenment. Britain and the Creation of the Modern World. Lane et al., London et al. 2000, ISBN 0-7139-9152-6 .
  • Blood and Guts. A Short History of Medicine. Allen Lane, London et al. 2002, ISBN 0-713-99669-2 (In German: Geschröpft und zum Ver Lassen. A small cultural history of medicine. Translated from the English by Christian Detoux. Dörlemann, Zurich 2004, ISBN 3-908777-05 -4 ).
  • Bodies Politic. Disease, Death and Doctors in Britain, 1650-1900. Reaction Books et al., London 2001, ISBN 1-86189-094-X .
  • Madness. A brief history. Oxford University Press, Oxford et al. 2002, ISBN 0-19-280266-6 (In German: Wahnsinn. A small cultural history. Translated from English by Christian Detoux. Dörlemann, Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-908777-06-2 ).
  • Flesh in the Age of Reason. Lane, London et al. 2003, ISBN 0-7139-9149-6 .
  • as editor: The Cambridge History of Science. Volume 4: Eighteenth Century Science. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge et al. 2003, ISBN 0-521-57243-6 .


  • Ludmilla Jordanova: Roy Sydney Porter, 1946–2002 . In: Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the British Academy . tape XI , 2012, p. 503-512 ( [PDF]).

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. ^ Roy Porter memorial page (with bibliography) on the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine at UCL website