birth, death, God, monuments, pregnancy

The histories of miscarriage and stillbirth

Three children who died too young: what can they tell us about how we frame and then answer our questions about the past?

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birth, dissection, midwives, museums and collections, womb

The skull inside the doll…

Webster was much possessed by death And saw the skull beneath the skin... (T.S. Eliot, Whispers of Immortality) I was very excited when the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (@RCPEHeritage) tweeted pictures today illustrating that they have been ‘X-raying two of our circa 18thc midwifery manikins (also known as ‘phantoms’) – to discover that… Continue reading The skull inside the doll…

Bad History, doctors, gender, internet, midwives, museums and collections

Exhibiting our past: “This Vexed Question”

There's been a lot of interest online in a temporary exhibition which has recently opened at the Royal College of Physicians in London: "This Vexed Question: 500 years of women in medicine". I was disturbed by some of the media reports, in particular one in Culture Trip which started with the comment that the RCP was 'dissecting… Continue reading Exhibiting our past: “This Vexed Question”

Bad History, Hippocrates, hysteria, internet

Quote/unquote: basic errors in using the internet for doing history

Just occasionally, even I am shocked at how people don't bother to look at the basics when using a web page as evidence for their arguments: who wrote this? when did they write it? what's their evidence? are they using that evidence properly? This happened today. I was engaging in one of those chats on Twitter… Continue reading Quote/unquote: basic errors in using the internet for doing history