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Dr George Gosling

Dr George Gosling

Senior Lecturer in History

  • Email address
  • Phone number 01902 32 3498
  • Location Room MH124, Mary Seacole Building
  • Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Institute School of Social, Historical and Political Studies
  • Areas of expertise

    modern British history; charity; health and welfare

George Campbell Gosling is a social, cultural and political historian of modern Britain. His work primarily uses the themes of medicine, charity and welfare to explore wider questions of gender, citizenship and consumerism.

He joined the University of Wolverhampton in 2017, having previously held teaching and research posts at City, University of London, Warwick University, King's College London, Oxford Brookes University and the University of Liverpool.

His most recent book, ‘Payment and Philanthropy in British Healthcare, 1918-48’, was published by Manchester University Press in 2017. It explores the complex meanings of payment in the pre-NHS hospital, arguing that when patient payments became commonplace after the First World War they found a surprisingly traditional accommodation with long-established class-bound principles of philanthropy.

You'll find him online on twitter and at his own his own Musings site, where his regular blog includes a popular series of 'advice to students' study skills posts.

• Social history of medicine
• History of charity and civil society
• Histories and theories of money
• History of social policy
• Charity shops

  • Social History Society - member and former Communications Officer
  • Voluntary Action History Society - member and former trustee
  • Society for the Social History of Medicine - member
  • Voluntary Sector Studies Network - member
  • Economic History Society - member
  • Higher Education Academy - fellow
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2018)
  • PhD in Modern British History, Oxford Brookes University (2011)
  • MA in the History of Medicine, Oxford Brookes University (2007)
  • BA in History and Social Policy, Bangor University (2006)


Payment and Philanthropy in British Healthcare, 1918-48 (Manchester University Press, February 2017) -  open access e-book

Edited collections

Understanding the Roots of Voluntary Action: Historical Perspectives on Current Social Policy, co-edited with Colin Rochester, Alison Penn and Meta Zimmeck (Sussex Academic Press, 2011)

Healthcare and the Community in Modern Britain, focus section edited and introductory essay co-authored with Stephen Soanes for Family and Community History, vol. 12, no. 2 (2009)

Peer-reviewed articles and essays

'Eine Neubewertung der „Gift Relationship“ in der britischen Geschichte zum Freiwilligensektor', Historische Zeitschrift, vol. 308, no. 3 (forthcoming June 2019)

'Gender, Money and Professional Identity: Medical Social Work and the Coming of the British National Health Service', Women’s History Review, vol. 27, no. 2 (2018), pp. 310-328

'The Birth of the Pregnant Patient-Consumer? Payment, Paternalism and Maternity Hospitals in Early Twentieth-Century England' in Jennifer Evans and Ciara Meehan (eds), Perceptions of Pregnancy from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), pp. 189-212

'Paying for Health: Comparative Perspectives on Patient Payment and Contributions for Hospital Provision in Ireland' co-authored with Donnacha Seán Lucey in Lucey and Virginia Crossman (eds), Healthcare in Ireland and Britain from 1850: Voluntary, Regional and Comparative Perspectives (Institute of Historical Research, 2015), pp. 81-100 

'Healthcare as Nation-Building: The Case of the British National Health Service' co-authored with Glen O’Hara in Paul Weindling (ed.), Healthcare in Private and Public from the Early Modern Period to 2000 (Routledge, 2014), pp. 123-141

'“Open the Other Eye”: Payment, Civic Duty and Hospital Contributory Schemes in Bristol, c.1927-1948', Medical History, vol. 54, no. 4 (2010), pp. 475-494

'The Patient Contract in Bristol’s Voluntary Hospitals, c.1918-1929', University of Sussex Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 11 (2007), pp. 1-16

'“Co-operate! Co-ordinate! Unify!” The 1920 Proposal to Amalgamate the Medical Charities of Bristol', Southern History, vol. 29 (2007), pp. 83-106

Book reviews

'Voluntarisms and the Welfare State: Histories and Policies' review essay, Cultural and Social History (forthcoming 2019)

‘The Logic of Charity: Great Expectations in Hard Times’ edited by Beth Breeze and John Mohan, Voluntary Sector Review, vol. 5, no. 3 (2017), pp. 355-356

‘Almost Worthy: The Poor, Paupers, and the Science of Charity in America, 1877-1917’ by Brent Ruswick, Voluntary Sector Review, vol. 5, no. 3 (2014), pp. 417-418

‘The Ages of Voluntarism: How we got to the Big Society’ edited by Matthew Hilton and James McKay, Contemporary British History, vol. 26, no. 2 (2012), pp. 255-256



Dr Gosling is module leader for the following undergraduate and MA modules:

  • 5HS007 Preserving the Past: Heritage, History and Identity
  • 7HS007 Citizenship and the Welfare State
  • 4PO005 Campaigning and Citizenship: Women in Britain and Empire, 1790s to 1970s (on sabbatical 2019/20)
  • 6HS015 Charity and Campaigning in Modern Britain and Empire (on sabbatical 2019/20)

He is also often a member of the teaching team for the following undergraduate and MA modules:

  • 4HS001 The Pursuit of History
  • 4HS003 The Making of Modern Britain, c.1700-1819
  • 4SA007 The Development of the Welfare State, 1945-2010
  • 5HS006 The Social History of Victorian Britain
  • 6HS004 Independent Study in History
  • 7HS003 Dissertation (MA in Twentieth-Century Britain)
  • 7HS006 Research Methods (MA in Twentieth-Century Britain)
  • 7WR015 Total War: The British Experience, 1914-1918

Doctoral Supervision

Dr Gosling welcomes expressions of interest in the social, cultural and political history of modern Britain, especially topics relating to the history of charity and/or healthcare. He is currently a member of the supervision team for:

  • Greig Campbell (PhD on the 1970s closure of Bilston steelworks)
  • Deborah Richardson (Professional Doctorate in Public Health)


External Academic Roles

Dr Gosling is on the advisory panel for a number of heritage projects, including:

  • Reimagining the Workhouse: Firbeck Infirmary development at the National Trust's Southwell Workhouse
  • Forging Ahead: 1960s infant welfare centre recreation at the Black Country Living Museum