Galen, midwives, museums and collections

Medical instruments as bling?

If you freeze at the sight of a medical instrument... .. you are not alone! Historically, physicians have tried various methods to reduce the fear induced in the patient by seeing what is coming their way. For women, possibly the most scary of all is the obstetrics forceps; if there was ever an instrument to strike terror… Continue reading Medical instruments as bling?

beards, gender, midwives, womb

Agnodice: down and dirty?

The gestation of a book is an odd thing... So there I was watching a superb drag burlesque act, The Down and Dirty Show, featuring The Gentleman King and Foxy Tann, the scheduled entertainment at the 2011 Berkshire Conference for Women Historians. And the sky opened. Sometimes moments of insight come when you least expect… Continue reading Agnodice: down and dirty?

midwives

Midwives as murderers in 17th century London: a case of domestic abuse?

In the previous post, I introduced you to my favourite historical character, the ‘Popish midwife’ Elizabeth Cellier. When I was researching her for the first time some years back, I came across another midwife who was in London at precisely the same time: Mary Awbry, or Hobry. Like Elizabeth, Mary was accused of a crime,… Continue reading Midwives as murderers in 17th century London: a case of domestic abuse?