Jules Bernard Luys

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Jules Bernard Luys (1828-1897), Les émotions chez les hypnotiques, étudiées à l’aide de substances médicamenteuses ou toxiques agissant à distance (Paris: E. Lefraçois, 1888). Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process

Jules Bernard Luys was a French neurologist who began practicing medicine in 1857, first with the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, then to the Hôpital de la Charité. According to André Parent, writing for the Journal of Neurology (vol. 249, no.10, pp.1480-81), “Luys devoted the last period of his life to the study of hysteria and hypnosis. In doing so he became perhaps the most highly caricatured example of the fascination that hysteria exerted at the end of the 19th century, even upon individuals with a supposedly rational and scientific mind.”

“Luys imagined extravagant hypnosis experiments that were frequently performed during public sessions and attracted not only specialists but also le Tout-Paris. Most of Luys’ colleagues, however, were convinced of the scientific integrity of this courteous man whose foray into the mine field of hysteria cost him part of the scientific renown he took nearly forty years to acquire.”

Luys illustrated this book with 28 woodburytypes mounted four to a plate. Most of the photography was done by his son, George Luys (1870-1953), who was also a practicing physician.

See also:
Asti Hustvedt, Medical Muses: Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century Paris (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2011). Firestone Library (F) RC339.52.C453 H87 2011

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Wow, the clothes have changed but funny how the look of being hypnotized has not