Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (1660-1744).
Credit: Wellcome Library, London.

Maternity Wear: To Conceal or Reveal?

By Ashleigh Blackwood The development of maternity clothing is often considered to be a modern phenomenon by both the modern public and fashion industry. As Sandra Matthews explains, the public attention of this specific corner of the clothing market through photography and advertising trends in the 1950s which ‘[held their] roots in the social changes…

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In conversation

You can now listen to Sara and I in conversation with Reddit /r/AskHistorians talking all about early modern medicine. In the podcast we discuss women’s bodies and health, greensickness, infertility, menstruation and all the other fun topics that keep us occupied in our research. You can also follow the discussion and ask questions if you would…

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Photograph by Trounce

The Stinging of a Wasp

I am currently reading the Select Cases, and Consultations, in Physick of Dr John Woodward, published in 1757 by Peter Templeman. Woodward was a physician, natural historian and antiquary.1  From 1693 he was a fellow of the Royal Society and in 1695 was created MD by Archbishop Tenison and then the University of Cambridge.2 Templeman…

A surgeon operating on a woman's mouth. Wellcome Library London

Horrible Halitosis

In the popular mindset there is perhaps the belief that early modern period never cleaned their teeth and so bad breath must have been commonplace and unexceptional. However, medical writers and practitioners throughout the period many practitioners of various kinds made recommendations for how men and women could keep their mouths and teeth clean and…

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Beauty Spots and French Pox

Katie Aske returns this week in her second guest blog post – the first one is here . This week Katie is discussing beauty spots!         The beauty spot is the trademark of the eighteenth-century’s powdered beauties, both male and female. To achieve a beauty spot when one did not occur naturally, people…