Article ID: CBB920500897

A brand-new stethoscope for John Keats (2020)


John Keats spent in Rome his last months looking for relief from the disease that was killing him: tuberculosis. The physician who took him in charge was Sir James Clark (1788-1870) who, during a stay in Paris in 1819, had become an early and strong supporter of Laennec’s stethoscope. He surely brought some version of it to Rome and most probably used it to auscultate Keats’ lungs. That was not sufficient to prevent the young poet’s death. Nonetheless, Keats became an unaware and unfortunate instrument to that first diagnostic step forward in the titanic medical struggle against “consumption”. As Clark stated in 1820, defending the stethoscope from critics: “To know the nature and extent of a disease is surely the first step in our progress to the adoption of rational means of cure.”

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Authors & Contributors
Jones, Greta
Malcolm, Elizabeth
Gradmann, Christoph
Kelly, James G.
Geary, Laurence M.
Froggatt, Peter
History of Psychiatry
Medical History
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
Medicina Historica
McGill-Queen's University Press
International Specialized Book Services
University of Oxford (United Kingdom)
Oxford University
Bloomsbury Academic
Medicine and society
Therapeutic practice; therapy; treatment
Disease and diseases
Koch, Robert
Wilde, Robert Willis
Beard, George Miller
Wagner-Jauregg, Julius von
Roussel, Joseph-Antoine
Great Britain
19th century
20th century
20th century, early
18th century
17th century
20th century, late
Royal Belfast Academical Institution
Catholic University of Ireland (Dublin)
Great Britain. Royal Navy

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