The Dissemination of Medical Practice in Late Modern Europe: The Case of Buchan’s Domestic Medicine

Elisabetta Lonati


The aim of this study is to investigate the prefaces, introductory sections, tables of contents, indices, appendices and glossaries in the Italian and French translations of William Buchan’s Domestic Medicine (1st ed., Edinburgh, 1769). The editions under scrutiny here are the 6th in English (1779, London), the 2nd in French (1780-, Paris) and the Italian edition issued in Milan (1785-). The analysis will focus on the methodology adopted in the process of translation and adaptation, as they emerge from paratextual sections; the same sections (particularly tables of contents, indices, appendices), along with extracts from the main body, will exemplify textual and discourse features in the three languages (similarities, correspondences, differences, additions, adaptations, omissions, etc.).The analysis also highlights how the widespread process of translation and adaptation of texts in the last quarter of eighteenth-century Europe is essential to the dissemination and the elaboration of contemporary medical issues (as disciplinary knowledge), with a view on specific medical practices.

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