Accounting for the mature-immature body
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Accounting for the mature-immature body book
In the beginning of 1809, surgeon Anthony White finalised his ‘Historical Account on Philip Howorth’, the first case of its kind presented to the British Royal Society of Medicine in that century. Starting with inborn and constitutional triggers, trace the earliest explanatory models of pubertal precocity – one natural, the other pathological – via which medicine was afforded the first gaze beyond the monstrous anatomy of the mature-immature child into the domain of organic abnormality. Within the whole of the 19th century, found only one case in which pubertal precocity was linked with a pathological scenario from the outset. Alongside the hereditary and the racial hypotheses, an exogenous plane of causalities emerged in early reports on premature puberty. Looking back at White’s, South’s, and Smart’s texts, one can see that, besides speaking to biological descent and race, their ‘portraits’ of their patients’ families also position them within a socioeconomic status. Philips’ parents are ‘poor but industrious people.