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light therapy and, most of all, on its limitations to register, disseminate, and legitimise the therapy as modern medicine. I ended Chapter 3 by mentioning how often light therapy’s photographs were retouched, or faked outright, to avoid the hazards and difficulties of capturing the therapy in process. Manual intervention, whether by retouching, assembling composites, or mixing illustration with photograph, is absolutely ubiquitous in its imagery

in Soaking up the rays
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never once had this conception of my cancer, as a punishment for years of inhibition. But nor was I able to think of it as my enemy. Possibly if I had gone through chemotherapy I would have had to imagine the toxic doses as the good guys. Jackie Stacey records this moment: I am now required to embrace the treatment I have been struggling to avoid. Chemotherapy must be visualised as a positive intervention. Not poison, but pink champagne, they suggest in Bristol [the Bristol Cancer Help Clinic]. The more I can think of it as an ally, the less it will harm me. But I

in Austerity baby
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claims that light, and especially ultraviolet light, could be used to great therapeutic effect. Finsen was known throughout the world for his work with phototherapy, and Britain was no exception. He became internationally renowned for the treatment’s success and in 1903 won the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Through the intervention of Queen Alexandra (then Princess of Wales), Finsen’s methods and equipment were imported to the (Royal

in Soaking up the rays
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similar vein, what is light therapy but a deliberate invention and intervention with skin as an excessive, therapeutic form of ‘light writing’? The skin was so effective acting as a photograph (photogram) that for practitioners like Eidinow it superseded photographic devices for measuring light intensities, such as photometers and spectroscopes. Developing from, merging with, and eventually superseding photography, light therapy

in Soaking up the rays
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radioactivity ( Chapter 4 ). Finsen’s publications were translated into German, French, and English, enabling global dissemination. And the world took notice. By 1900, Britain imported phototherapy into its best hospitals, primarily through the intervention of fellow Dane, Queen Alexandra (1844–1925), then Princess of Wales. 93 Having visited the Finsen Institute in 1899, the princess was so impressed that she purchased a Finsen lamp

in Soaking up the rays