Seventeenth-century medicine has received m ore attention from historians than has seventeenth-century surgery. B io­ graphies o f great physicians form the backbone o f traditional medical history. Studies focusing on the day-to-day practices o f physicians are rare, but they do exist. M ichael M acD onald’s recent Mystical Bedlam: Madness, Anxiety and Healing in Seventeenth-Century England is based on the volum inous casebook o f the astrological physician Richard N ap ie r.1 M acD onald’s w ork provides an excellent exam ple o f the kinds o f inform ation such sources can yield. N ap ier’s life, thought, techniques and clientele are investigated in great detail and related to the m ore general question o f m ental illness in the period.