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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.

Sasha Handley

devotion for a wide variety of Protestants, and indeed for English Catholics for whom public worship remained strictly prohibited.20 The material enhancement of English homes in these years moreover offered practical support for this development.21 Pious prescription and daily practices of sleep were closely related in the homes of committed Anglicans like Yorkshire woman Alice Thornton. Alice learned the virtue of early morning prayers from her parents at an early age and she regularly engaged in bedtime reading and prayer after she married William Thornton on 15

in Conserving health in early modern culture
Abstract only
Politeness, sociability and the culture of medico-gentility
Michael Brown

’s wealthy and socially active citizens to a more evangelical form of worship.26 York also played host to a range of dissenters and non-conformists. Catholicism had retained a foothold in the city since the Reformation and one estimate, based on Drummond’s 1764 visitation, puts the number at around 260.27 Another, based upon the census of 1767, suggests 642.28 Most of these were English Catholics and suffered little harassment. They were allowed to worship in peace at the Bar Convent on Blossom Street or the chapel in Little Blake Street and many played an active role in

in Performing medicine