Nineteenth-Century Disability:  Cultures & Contexts


Class informed disability in the nineteenth century in myriad ways, especially in terms of access to resources and care.  While the first image of disability in the nineteenth century that comes to mind might be that of the working class soldier who has lost a limb in the Crimea, or a man like Henry Mayhew's "Crippled Street-Seller of Nutmeg Graters" whose luck has forced him onto the streets, there were many places in nineteenth century culture where wealth and disability intersected.  For example, wealthy invalids might take the water cure at a hydropathy institute such as Ben Rhydding, or winter on the Mediterranean at San Remo for their health.  In this section, you can explore the ways that wealth and class associations shaped the experience of disability in the nineteenth century.