Author Archives: Sara

Poking fun at Physicians

For another project I have been reading lots of early modern joke books and I thought I’d share some of what I’d found here. Books of amusing songs, poems, funny stories and jokes, known as jest-books sold a lot in the seventeenth century. These were not a new form, as Michael Mangan has pointed out, …

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Good to Meet You

This week, Early Modern Medicine’s contributing editor, Sara Read, chatted to The Guardian newspaper as part of their Good to Meet you series. The interview mentions her first monograph Menstruation and the Female Body in Early Modern England, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013. To read more from this book, visit http://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781137355027 where a free preview …

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Anne Taylor’s Stones

This week’s post discusses the case of  20-year-old Anne Taylor, who worked as a servant to a brewer named Sikes, in Romford, Essex. Anne was treated by chemical physician George Thompson (1619-1676) in February 1655. We last met Thompson in this post. Thompson added an appendix to his 1665 book Galeno-pale: A Chymical Trial of the …

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The Alchemist at the RSC

Ben Jonson’s 1610 play The Alchemist was playing in Stratford-upon-Avon this summer (until 6 August) before transferring to The Barbican from September. Set against the backdrop of a great plague epidemic which has seen the wealthy abandon London for the cleaner country air, the play is a rare chance for those us interested in the history …

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Six Lessons From a Child’s Death

In a poignant diary entry dissenting minister and local physician James Clegg (1669-1755) described the death of one of his infant sons from convulsions. In March 1720 he noted that ‘My dear child Ebenezer was seized about the first day of this month with very strong convulsions which continued above a week and increased in …

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