My early ideas for a history of migraine were formed at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine at the University of Manchester. I thank Michael Worboys and the late John Pickstone for giving me the opportunity to take up a research fellowship; Michael Brown, Emma Jones, Victoria Long, Rob Kirk, Neil Pemberton, Carsten Timmermann, Elizabeth Toon, and Duncan Wilson shared ideas, commented on my project proposals and early papers, and were an invaluable source of support, friendship, and sensible advice. Brigitte Soltau, Kate Smith, Melissa Bentley, and Leo Tavakoli were wonderful company and a source of solidarity, food, and wine during my weeknight stays in Manchester and London.
Generous funding from the Wellcome Trust (grant no. 091650/Z/10/Z) for a Medical Humanities Research Fellowship (2011–2014) made this whole thing possible. Thanks are due to the Medical Humanities Committee for their faith in the project, and to the three anonymous reviewers who provided insightful feedback on the initial proposal. At the Wellcome Trust, Lauren Couch fought in my corner at a difficult time, for which I am immensely grateful. More recently, Hannah Hope and Diego Baptista on the Open Access team have helped navigate this aspect of the publication process.
The majority of the research for this book was undertaken during my Wellcome-funded three-year fellowship in history at Kings College London (KCL), a time I remember principally for wonderful conversations over books and images (and a few underground cocktails) with Bonnie Evans, Florence Grant, Keren Hammerschlag, Ludmilla Jordanova, Anna Maerker, Sophie Mann, Richard A. McKay, Ann Poulson, Dionysios Stathakopoulous, and Rosemary Wall. At KCL, I also thank Brian Hurwitz, Paul Readman, Adam Sutcliffe, and the scholars in the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies for their support and welcome.
At KCL, it was a privilege to work with, learn from, and be mentored by Ludmilla Jordanova, who enthusiastically saw the potential for this project from my first vague and speculative email. Since 2013, at Leicester, Clare Anderson has supported me through the enormous challenge of juggling my first lecturing post and young children. I cannot stress enough how valuable the intellect, advice, and encouragement of these two remarkable women and role models has been and continues to be. Thank you.
In late 2013, I joined the School of History (now HyPIR) at the University of Leicester, where I have worked and taught with some wonderful colleagues, including Bernard Attard, Andy Hopper, Sally Horrocks, Zoe Knox, George Lewis, Toby Lincoln, Prashant Kidambi, Jo Story, Roey Sweet, Deborah Toner, Lynne Wakefield, and Sarah Whitmore. A special mention must also go to the fabulous BSWs: Eureka Henrich, Emma Battell-Lowman, Kellie Moss, Katy Roscoe, and Maeve Ryan.
As I have developed this project, I have had countless conversations about migraine with friends, family members, colleagues, and strangers—on trains and buses; in elevators and on the school playground; over emails and cups of tea; and on Twitter and Facebook. A huge number of people have given helpful feedback, shared personal experiences, and asked pertinent questions that have all made positive contributions to this book. This includes seminar audiences at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; the History of Medicine Unit at the University of Birmingham; the Late Modern History Seminar at St. Andrews; the University of Leicester Centre for Medical Humanities, and the Durham Centre for Visual Arts and Cultures. Attendees at conferences and workshops include the Case Studies of Medical Portraiture Workshop (KCL, 2011), the American Association for the History of Medicine Conference (Baltimore, 2012); the Social History Society Conference (Leeds, 2013); the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health (Cologne, 2015); the Society for the Social History of Medicine Conferences (Queen Mary University of London, 2012; Kent, 2016; and Liverpool, 2018); and the International Congress of History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (Manchester, 2013). In 2012, I organized the Illness Histories and Approaches Workshop at KCL, and I thank all the speakers and attendees at that event who, through their engagement, made me think hard about how to approach the history of illness and disease.
Some of the research for chapter 9 was carried out with additional support from the University of Leicester Research Impact Development Fund in 2016. At the head office of Migraine Action, Rebekah Aitchison and Simon Evans politely humored my repeated inquiries about the art collection and were a pleasure to work with as we put together the Migraine Art Collection website. I am indebted to Steve Ling for his infectious enthusiasm for the artworks and the care with which he approached the cataloging and research for that project, and delighted that our work has played a part in securing a permanent home for the artworks at the Wellcome Library.
An early version of some of the material on Hildegard of Bingen in chapter 7 was published as “Making Modern Migraine Medieval: Men of Science, Hildegard of Bingen, and the Life of a Retrospective Diagnosis,” Medical History 58 (2014): 354–374. This work is available through Open Access, online at https://doi.org/10.1017/mdh.2014.28/. Other paragraphs have been revised from the research included in “Digital Narratives: Four ‘Hits’ in the History of Migraine,” in The Routledge History of Disease, ed. Mark Jackson (London: Routledge, 2017), 512–528. My thanks to the editors and anonymous reviewers for their constructive engagement with these pieces.
The Wellcome Library in London is one of the great repositories of human knowledge, and it has a brilliant team of archivists and librarians who make visiting and working there a joy, including Elma Brenner, Phoebe Harkins, and Ross Macfarlane. At the Queen Square Archives and Library at the UCL Institute of Neurology, Sarah Lawson and colleagues have been unfailingly helpful and welcoming in retrieving books and documents from the dauntingly long list I handed over. I would also like to thank archivists at the Royal Society of London, the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives in Baltimore, the Neurological Institute at Columbia University, the East Sussex Record Office, the Leicestershire County Record Office, and the British Library. For help with images, I thank Arike Oke and Holly Peel (Wellcome Library), Fazila Patel (Migraine Action), Domniki Papadimitriou (Cambridge University Library), Katherine Marshall (Royal Society), and the British Library Licensing Team.
I have received heartening encouragement and helpful leads from people who have responded to my posts on the Remedia blog, the Recipes Project, the Wellcome Library blog, and my own research blog, as well as for pieces in The Conversation website. Thanks to Jenni Nuttall for allowing me to use her translation of William Dunbar’s poem, to Lauren Kassell for helping me read the Napier casenotes, and to Anne MacGregor and Mark Weatherall for responding to my queries about aspects of migraine medicine.
A number of people have read and given feedback on earlier drafts and full chapters: my gratitude to Sarah Easterby-Smith, Keren Hammerschlag, Mark Jackson, Ludmilla Jordanova, Rich McKay, Molly Rogers, Trish Skinner, Kate Smith, and Matthew Smith. In addition to all her practical and emotional support and advice, Sally Foxhall’s knowledge of grammar, and her ability to spot repetition at a hundred paces, has improved my writing considerably.
It has been a pleasure to work with the team at Johns Hopkins University Press. I am grateful to Jacqueline C. Wehmueller for making the initial contact, and to the anonymous reviewers for their critical engagement and positive report on my initial proposal. Matthew R. McAdam and William Krause have smoothly guided the book through reviews and into production. In particular, I want to thank Matthew Smith and Joanna Kempner for their critical, generous engagement and extremely helpful suggestions for revision of the manuscript. Kathleen M. Capels has provided meticulous copyediting and made that process a real pleasure. Any errors of interpretation or fact in this book, of course, remain entirely mine.
This project first began to take shape in 2010. The process of researching and writing it has spanned three house moves, three fixed-term employment contracts, marriage, and the birth of two children. I therefore dedicate this book to Andrew Creese, who is still my superstar, and to Toby and Elin, who have changed my ideas about everything.