Maladies & Medicine

Maladies and Medicine offers a lively exploration of health and medical cures in early modern England. The introduction sets out the background in which the body was understood, covering the theory of the four humours and the ways that male and female bodies were conceptualised. It also explains the hierarchy of healers from university trained …

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Toy shop Treatments

I have always been intrigued reading 17th and 18th century newspaper advertisements for medical remedies by the locations in which these products were sold and from whom they could be purchased. Looking at the drugs advertised in almanacs Louise Hill Curth has argued that patent and proprietary drugs – those with a name sold as …

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Satisfying Satyrion

I have been catching up on Season 2 of Versailles on BBC Iplayer.  (Spoiler to follow if you haven’t watched it yet). In the season opener Madame De Reynaud claims to have procured powder of Satyrion to enhance her marriage. Satyrion was a very well known aphrodisiac in the seventeenth century. It worked based on …

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A Famous Fistula

The Spanish Ambassador to James I of England suffered from an anal fistula which was common knowledge. John Reynolds’ imagined conversation between the late King Henry, Queen Anne, and Queens Mary and Elizabeth in 1624 includes the comment that Count Gondomar had the permission of King James to spend the summer at Greenwich as the …

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Preventing Pregnancy

Early modern historians have long discussed whether people in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries actively limited their family size. Dorothy McLaren has shown that women might extend the length of time for which they breastfed their babies in order to space pregnancies further apart, while Angus McLaren, Edward Shorter and others have explored in detail …

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