My gratitude to all the reviewers who’ve spent time reading and thinking about Revising the Clinic. I appreciate having such attentive, generous readers.
Here are some quotes I’ve pulled;  you can click on the links to read each review in full.


Nineteenth-Century Literature 66.2, 2012:

[A] book that does substantial revising in Victorian and genre studies.

By deftly moving in and between the medical case history and the novel, she models one of the primary emphases of her book: that medical writers and novelists borrowed from each others’ stockade of narrative forms.

While the historical work on the case study is compelling, Kennedy is best when she is working with the novel to show how writers borrowed from the sciences to develop new ways of seeing and stating.

Revising the Clinic is a responsible book that exposes the uneven, messy development of the case study and the novel without forfeiting clarity.

[T]he real strength of the book derives from the cross-work between genres, histories, and narratives that gives form to the mediated forces underlying vision and representation. (Molly Engelhardt)

Victorian Studies 55.1, 2012:

Meegan Kennedy’s ambitious study makes a significant contribution to the growing body of work on the complex interconnections between medical and fictional vision and narrative. As its title implies, Revising the Clinic rethinks the objective clinical gaze of Michel Foucault’s celebrated account and the work on technologies of medical observation and the representation of the body which has followed it…. This is a complex, densely argued study which cannot be easily summarised in a short review…. [A]n important book, which no one working in the field of nineteenth-century literature and medicine can afford to ignore. (Jenny Bourne Taylor)


British Society for Literature and Science (BSLS):

[A] head-on and provocative exploration.

Kennedy’s account is supported by numerous and solid primary sources.

Revising the Clinic convincingly posits the notion that physicians and novelists were writers working within their own narrative form. Kennedy’s examination of how and why medical practitioners and novelists were in dialogue provides powerful and compelling insights into the cultural encounters between medicine and literature during the nineteenth century. (Kate Gazzard)


Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 66, 2011:

Kennedy’s theoretical approach, rooted in visual studies, adds a new depth to our understanding of the integral relationship between novels and medical case histories.

By tracing stages of the case history (curious, clinical, and psychoanalytic) and multiple fiction genres (sentimental, romantic, realist) as they weave an interrelated emphasis on modes of vision, Kennedy offers a richly nuanced analysis of this model.

[T]he book as a whole offers exciting new possibilities.

Importantly, each chapter offers well-researched and articulate advances of her thesis and also offers a template for advancing studies in this field beyond the British novel and the Victorian era. (Sharon M. Harris)


Social History of Medicine 2012:

[A] fresh and insightful examination of the confluences between two literary forms, the medical case history and the novel.

[A] lively and thorough consideration of the development of medical professionalism.

Kennedy persuasively demonstrates how medical and scientific discourse made its way into Victorian culture.

The precision and transparency of Kennedy’s prose adds to the strength of this well researched, lucid and thoughtful work of literary and cultural history. Revising the Clinic is an important contribution to the proliferating scholarship on Victorian medicine and literature. (Linda Simon)


Nineteenth-Century Books Online (NBOL), 2011:

[A] valuable contribution to the expanding field of nineteenth-century medicine and literature.

In her particularly compelling opening chapter… [she offers] detailed rhetorical analyses of some of these early case histories–analyses which engagingly combine (in a mirror of her subject matter) rigorous investigation and medical “curiosity”.

[The final chapter] shows how the complex history of debates about narrative form and scientific methodology illuminates the literary and scientific tensions in Freud’s work, and it is a testament to the success of Kennedy’s project that the reader emerges at the end with a much richer, more detailed sense of that history than when we began. (Athena Vrettos)


RaVoN 58, 2010:

Kennedy’s careful prose and deft scholarship guide the reader through these complicated cultural structures.

Using an impressive array of literary, historical, and theoretical tools Kennedy charts the development of seeing and knowing in nineteenth-century British culture.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Kennedy’s text is her ability to seamlessly weave together medical, literary, historical, and theoretical texts.

One could not ask for a better, more carefully wrought, or more satisfying treatment of these competing visions that are, on the surface, so incompatible.

Revising the Clinic is a sweeping, rich, theoretically deft book that accomplishes a great deal and guides its reader every step of the way. In reaching across a very long nineteenth century and over a wide variety of texts, Kennedy covers the territory of at least two books.  (Sari Altschuler)