Early Modern Medicine is a blog  intended to share ideas and issues arising from our work and the work of others with both the non-academic and the academic community. Some posts may end up being developed into more substantive pieces of research while others are just interesting snippets that people might enjoy. The blog publishes the research and ideas of numerous other academics working on the early modern period. For information on some of our regular contributors please scroll down. All our views are our own.

The book reviews published on this blog are also aimed at a broad audience and so focus on content.

Founding Editor and Contributor: Dr Jennifer Evans I am a Senior lecturer in History at the University of Hertfordshire. My research focuses on gender, the body and medicine in early modern England. In particular I am interested in issues of sexual health and reproduction.

In 2012 I started work on a new project supported by  a postdoctoral research fellowship from the Society for Renaissance Studies. The project investigates the relationship between masculinity and men’s sexual health in early modern England. This blog will explore issues and ideas that arise during my research and readings of early modern medical and surgical treatises.


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  • Aphrodisiacs, Fertility and Medicine in Early Modern England, (Boydell and Brewer, October 2014)
  • Maladies and Medicine: exploring health and healing 1540-1740 (Pen & Sword books).


  • Perceptions of Pregnancy from the Seventeenth to Twentieth Centuries edited with Ciara Meehan (Palgrave, 2017)
  • New Perspectives on the History of Facial Hair: framing the face edited with Alun Withey (Palgrave, forthcoming)

Editor and contributor: Dr Sara Read

Dr Sara Read is a lecturer in the School of Arts, English and Drama at Loughborough University, England. From 2012-2013 she was a post-doctoral fellow with the Society for Renaissance Studies. Her first monograph was published in 2013 (see below), which examines women’s understandings of transitional bleeding. The book has chapters examining menarche, menstruation, post-partum bleeding, and menopause. After completing this project, Sara worked on miscarriage and pregnancy in literature an cultural texts. The miscarriage article jointly authored with Jennifer is one of the results of this work.


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  • “‘Gushing out Blood’: Defloration and Menstruation in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure” Journal for Medical Humanities (forthcoming, 2016)
  • ‘Long we Gathering are with Pain’: Reading Pregnancy in Early Modern Fiction in Perceptions of Pregnancy from the Seventeenth to Twentieth Centuries edited by Jennifer Evans and  Ciara Meehan (Basingstoke: Palgrave, forthcoming)
    • With Jennifer Evans, ‘“Before Midnight she had miscarried”: Women, Men and Miscarriage in Early Modern England, The Journal of Family History, 40 (January 2015), 3-23
  • Menstruation and the Female Body in Early Modern England (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, September 2013)
  • Flesh and Spirit: An Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Women’s Writings, ed. by Rachel Adcock, Sara Read, and Anna Ziomek (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014)
  • ‘“Thy Righteousness is but a Menstrual Clout”: Sanitary Protection and Prejudice in Early-Modern England’, Early Modern Woman: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 3 (2008), 1-26
  • ‘When Menopause is not Climacteric’, Notes and Queries (2012) doi: 10.1093/notesj/gjs048 First puBookazine_Issue5-247x350blished online: March 30, 2012.
  • ‘“An Expected Gift”: Literary Resumption of Marital Intimacy from Donne to Updike’, Notes and Queries doi: 10.1093/notesj/gjt088 First published online: April 16, 2013
  • Sara gas also published a popular history of Early Modern Women’s Lives –
  • She also contributes to the annual periodical Discover Your AncestorsIssue 5 March 2016 has a piece discussing weight loss in the seventeenth century.

14 Responses so far.

  1. […] Early Modern Medicine on January 16, 2014. Submissions are due either directly to the host or to The Renaissance Mathematicus (@rmathematicus) no later than Jan. […]
  2. […] the Medieval to the Modern is a three-day conference that I am co-organising with my colleague, Dr Jennifer Evans. It will be held at the University of Hertfordshire between 16 and 18 July. The response to our […]
  3. […] My brilliant former colleagues at the University of Hertfordshire, Dr Ciara Meehan and Dr Jennifer Evans, demonstrated this well with the Perceptions of Pregnancy conference, now an international research […]