Author Archives: Jennifer

Jennifer is a lecturer in History at the University of Hertfordshire. Her research focuses on gender, the body and medicine in early modern England. She has published in Social History of Medicine and Women's History Review. Her first book Aphrodisiacs, Fertility and Medicine in Early Modern England was published in 2014 in the Royal Historical Society Studies in History Series

Pancake Plasters

Yesterday, as I am sure everyone is well aware, was Shrove Tuesday. A day when Facebook and Twitter feeds abound with people posting picture of their perfect pancakes. Several historical twitter feeds shared images of early modern pancake recipes, so I don’t wish to do that here. The London Metropolitan Archives tweeted a recipe attributed …

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Spare Ribs

During my PhD I had trouble with my arms. After speaking to a fantastically enthusiastic surgeon it was revealed that I have cervical ribs. An extra set of ribs growing out of my cervical spine (you can see my x-ray here). These spare ribs complicate the placement of my blood vessels and nerves. I have …

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Calling for Back Up

Daniel Turner was born in London, probably, on 18 September 1667. When he grew up he served a two-year apprenticeship under London surgeon Charles Bateman, and a five-year apprenticeship with Thomas Lichfield. In 1691 he joined the Company of Barber Surgeons. In 1711 Turner moved from being a surgeon to be a physician; he became a …

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Metaphorical Magnitude

In my current project on men’s sexual health (including genitourinary conditions and afflictions of the groin) I have been reading a lot of descriptions and case notes of testicular swellings and hernias. One of the things that has stood out to me and intrigued me is the use of comparisons to explain how big swellings …

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Medical Materials

A short while ago now I examined Alice Dolan’s excellent thesis on linen and its various roles in the life cycle. This got me thinking a bit more about the materials used in early modern medical recipes. We have seen these in various previous blog posts – like the hats made to cure headaches and …

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