Hearing, and by extension the ear, was viewed as a civilising influence in the Victorian era. Music was a popular form of therapy, particularly for hysterical or melancholy patients. In this episode we explore ideas around deafness and how, in Victorian society, colonialism, Darwinism and eugenics led to an emphasis on the importance of being ‘normal’ (very much in quote marks!) and having access to all five senses.

And we finish up by looking at some ear-related treatment, including hot urine, turpentine and goat dung!

Guest historian clip: Prof James Kennaway, Historian of Medicine at Groningen University.