Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Medicine in the Early Modern Period (Elaine Leong)

This seminar focuses on the early modern understanding of body and its medical care. Barbara Duden’s monograph The Woman Beneath the Skin (English translation 1991) still provides a provocative entry into this area of research. The introduction, which discusses various possibilities how to deal as an historian with bodily experiences pre-1800, will allow us to highlight important questions and problems involved in the study of the body and medicine in the early modern period. Nancy Siraisi’s chapter on how early modern contemporaries understood the functioning of their bodies will offer us the necessary historical background for Duden’s more theoretical piece.

Seminar Reading

Duden, Barbara, The Woman Beneath the Skin: A Doctor’s Patients in Eighteenth-Century Germany (1991), Chapter 1 ‘Towards a History of the Body.’

Siraisi, Nancy G., Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine (1990), chapter on physiology (or more if you like!)

Further Reading

Brockliss, Lawrence and Jones, Colin, The Medical World of Early Modern France (1997), chapter 1.

Chapman, A., ‘Astrological Medicine’, in Webster ed., Health, Medicine and Mortality in the Sixteenth Century (1979), pp. 275-300.

Cook, Harold, The Decline of the Old Medical Regime in Stuart London (1986).

French, Roger, Medicine Before Science. The Business of Medicine from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment (2003)

Gentilcore, David, Healers and Healing in Early Modern Italy (Manchester University Press, 1998), Chapter 1.

Grell, Ole and Cunningham, Andrew (eds.), Religio Medici: Medicine and Religion in Seventeenth-Century England (1996), pp. 62-90.

Jenner, Mark and Wallis, Patrick (eds.), The Medical Marketplace and Its Colonies c. 1450-c. 1850 (2007).

Kassell, Lauren, Medicine and Magic in Elizabethan London. Simon Forman: Astrologer, Alchemist and Physician (2005).

Lindemann, Mary, Medicine and Society in Early Modern Europe (1999).

Pelling, Margaret, Medical Conflicts in Early Modern London Patronage, Physicians, and Irregular Practitioners 1550-1640 (2003).

Pomata, Gianna, Contracting a Cure: Patients, Healers and the Law in Early Modern Bologna (1998).

Porter, Roy, Health for Sale: Quackery in England, 1660-1850 (1988).