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Bodies and environments in Italy and England

This book explores whether early modern people cared about their health, and what did it mean to lead a healthy life in Italy and England. According to the Galenic-Hippocratic tradition, 'preservative' medicine was one of the three central pillars of the physician's art. Through a range of textual evidence, images and material artefacts, the book documents the profound impact which ideas about healthy living had on daily practices as well as on intellectual life and the material world in Italy and England. Staying healthy and health conservation was understood as depending on the careful management of the six 'Non-Naturals': the air one breathed, food and drink, excretions, sleep, exercise and repose, and the 'passions of the soul'. The book provides fresh evidence about the centrality of the Non-Naturals in relation to groups whose health has not yet been investigated in works about prevention: babies, women and convalescents. Pregnancy constituted a frequent physical state for many women of the early modern European aristocracy. The emphasis on motion and rest, cleansing the body, and improving the mental and spiritual states made a difference for the aristocratic woman's success in the trade of frequent pregnancy and childbirth. Preventive advice was not undifferentiated, nor simply articulated by individual complexion. Examining the roles of the Non-Naturals, the book provides a more holistic view of convalescent care. It also deals with the paradoxical nature of perceptions about the Neapolitan environment and the way in which its airs were seen to affect human bodies and health.

Military health care and the management of manpower
Sebastian Pranghofer

The century after the end of the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48) is usually characterised as a period of accelerated state formation within the Holy Roman Empire. 1 During this period, the close proximity and imbrication of civil and military medicine reshaped notions of military manpower as one of the key assets of the early modern state. Individual soldiers and their bodies were transformed into populations that could be measured and managed on a large scale. 2

in Accounting for health
Author: Emily Cock

This book explores seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Britain’s experiences with and responses to the surgical reconstruction of the nose, and the concerns and possibilities raised by the idea of ‘nose transplants’ in this period. Challenging histories of plastic surgery that posit a complete disappearance of Gaspare Tagliacozzi’s reconstructive operation after his death in 1599, the book traces the actual extent of this knowledge within the medical community in order to uncover why such a procedure was anathema to early modern British culture. Medical knowledge of Tagliacozzi’s autograft rhinoplasty was overtaken by a spurious story, widely related in contemporary literature, that the nose would be constructed from flesh purchased from a social inferior, and would die with the vendor. The volume therefore explores this narrative in detail for its role in the procedure’s stigmatisation, its engagement with the doctrine of medical sympathy, and its attempt to commoditise living human flesh. Utilising medical research and book histories alongside literary criticism, the project historicises key modern questions about the commodification and limits of the human body, the impact of popular culture on medical practice, and the ethical connotations of bodily modification as response to stigma.

Sasha Handley

7 Sleep-piety and healthy sleep in early modern English households Sasha Handley Despise not the Rules for promoting Health and Temperance, the ways of God and Nature are plain and simple, but mighty in operation and effects, the Body is an Instrument to the Soul, and being out of tune no harmony can be expected in the microcosm.1 The merchant, campaigner for vegetarianism and author of popular lifestyle guides Thomas Tryon was convinced that a strict regimen of bodily discipline held the key to the long-term preservation of physical and spiritual health.2 He

in Conserving health in early modern culture
Benjamin Hazard

In Early Modern Europe, the provision of military medical care was one of the many challenges caused by widespread and persistent warfare. During active conflict, warring parties established hospitals to care for personnel in army and naval service. According to Ole Peter Grell, the development of military hospital systems shows the significance that nation states attached to healthcare for their forces. 1 Moreover, Geoffrey Parker has referred to first-rate methods of medical treatment devised by the Spanish Army

in Early Modern Ireland and the world of medicine
Editor: John Cunningham

This collection offers important new insights across a broad range of topics relating to medicine in Early Modern Ireland. Of particular note is the substantial attention devoted to the years before 1750, a period that has been relatively neglected in studies of Irish medicine. The book brings together an exciting selection of established scholars, such as Peter Elmer and Clodagh Tait, as well as a number of early career historians. Their work effectively situates Irish medicine in relation to long-term social and cultural change on the island, as well as to appropriate international contexts, encompassing Britain, Europe and the Atlantic World. The chapters also engage in various ways with important aspects of the historiography of medicine in the twenty-first century. Among the key subjects addressed by the contributors are Gaelic medicine, warfare, the impact of new medical ideas, migration, patterns of disease, midwifery and childbirth, book collecting, natural history, and urban medicine. A common thread running through the chapters is the focus on medical practitioners. The book accordingly enables significant new understanding of the character of medical practise in Early Modern Ireland. This collection will be of interest to academics and students of the history of Early Modern medicine. It also contains much that will be essential reading for historians of Ireland.

Health, medicine and care in Wales, 1600-1750
Author: Alun Withey

This book provides a complete reappraisal of Welsh medical history in the early modern period. It investigates some of the factors affecting the types and spread of disease in Wales. Studies of disease and the body in popular cultural sources, such as poetry and vernacular verse, contribute to a wider assessment of a 'Welsh' bodily concept. The book explores the importance of geography and regional variation in affecting the sickness experience. It then examines the pathways through which medical information travelled in Wales, through detailed analyses of both oral and literate cultures in early modern Wales. The book also investigates medical material culture within the home in early modern Wales. It further analyses the 'sick role' and the ways in which sufferers both experienced and described their symptoms, foregrounding the growing impact of literacy and letters in sickness self-fashioning. The book looks at the availability of medical care in the early modern community, arguing that sickness served to create a temporary medical family, who provided a comprehensive structure of support from visiting to the provision of physical care. Finally, it argues that Welsh practitioner's desire to adopt English medical nomenclature points to a growing wish to be seen as 'legitimate' practitioners, a view backed up by the increasing numbers of medical licences granted to Welsh physicians.

Caring for newborns in early modern England
Leah Astbury

3 ‘Ordering the infant’: caring for newborns in early modern England Leah Astbury In 1985 in his groundbreaking article, ‘The patient’s view: doing history from below’, Roy Porter demanded historians re-evaluate their methodological approach to doing medical history and consider patient experience. In his five ‘broad guidelines for future investigations’, Porter complained that historians were overly concerned with diagnosis and cure. Instead, he suggested scholars turn their attention to the everyday acts of health care; the preventative measures individuals

in Conserving health in early modern culture
Abstract only
John Cunningham

Ulster University. Yet despite the increased range and intensity of research, Cox rightly acknowledged that ‘there remain some very basic lacunae in our knowledge, especially in relation to periods before 1800’. 16 The following collection of chapters addresses some of these lacunae. One substantial effort to explore aspects of the history of medicine in Early Modern Ireland was the collection of essays edited by James Kelly and Fiona Clark and published in 2010: Ireland and Medicine in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth

in Early Modern Ireland and the world of medicine
Abstract only
Alun Withey

, and even glean some basic information about their ages, where they lived, who their families were. But Lloyd’s list makes a useful metaphor for our understanding of the medical history of Wales; we have the bare facts, but lack the wider understanding to complete the picture. How did early modern people, such as the parishioners of Aber, experience illness, and how well equipped were they, their homes and families to tackle it? To whom did they turn for advice and treatment? What were the sources of their medical knowledge and who, if anyone, supported and cared for

in Physick and the family