Contents: Introduction:towards gynaecology; Prefacing women: owners and users; Medical history and obstetric practice in William Smellie; Guilty of 'male-practice'? Burton's attack on Smellie; Delighting in a 'bit of antiquity': Sir James Young Simpson; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
Helen King is Professor of Classical Studies at The Open University, UK. Her previous publications include Hippocrates' Woman and The Disease of Virgins.
'Midwifery, Obstetrics and the Rise of Gynaecology examines major developments in women's medicine from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth, focusing particularly on France and England. King brings to light a huge but largely neglected body of work on gynaecology and obstetrics - most of which was male-authored - that built upon the recently rediscovered writings of the ancient Hippocratics and fused them with knowledge derived from newer anatomical techniques and traditions of clinical practice. King's book is a model of erudition, an encyclopedic synthesis of the development of gynaecological writing and publishing, and a radical challenge to traditional assumptions that male involvement in women's medicine was a novelty of the eighteenth century. It is, in short, the best book ever written on the history of early modern women's medicine.' Monica H. Green, Arizona State University, and author of Making Women's Medicine Masculine: The Rise of Male Authority in Premodern Gynaecology 'Writing clearly and with infectious enthusiasm for her project, King seeks to answer four key questions in the history of medicine... King exhaustively checks every detail that might shed light on her itemized questions... King has delivered a persuasive and indispensable work for specialists in the field that unassumingly promotes the joy of scholarship.' Journal of the History of Medicine 'Packed with revealing conclusions and fresh perspectives, King's book is a substantial contribution to the current reappraisal of obstetrics as a gateway to the history of gender.' Renaissance Quarterly '... the scholarly precision with which [Helen King] approaches her materials is already evident in the introductory chapter.' Women's History Magazine 'Helen King has written a meticulously researched, erudite book that provides a fascinating overview of the development of attitudes toward women and women's health from antiquity through the nineteenth century.' Sixteenth Century Journal