Tag: women

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  • Image of alchemical furnaces

    Kitchen alchemy in the 16th century


    Since late antiquity, alchemical texts have had a reputation for being difficult to read. Besides often being written in Latin, which automatically limited the readership, these treatises employed a hermetic language, following the tradition of the secrecy of esoteric knowledge.… Continue reading

  • Image of Queen Isabella of England.

    Queen Isabella’s regimen of health


    In the later Middle Ages there was a considerable appetite for regimens of health, texts that provided advice about how to remain healthy and combat illness. Medical advice today depends for its efficacy on several factors, from evidence-based proof to… Continue reading

  • Disease woman image

    The ‘disease woman’ of the Wellcome Apocalypse


    By the middle of the 15th century, women’s healthcare had begun to shift from a field dominated by women to one monitored and controlled by men. Following the classical Aristotelian schema, the female body was perceived as biologically inferior, intrinsically… Continue reading

  • Bearded ladies on display


    Bearded ladies have long been one of the most familiar of performers in travelling shows and circuses. Often it was the contrast between their femininity and their wild, masculine appearance – bearded face and hairy body – that attracted an audience.… Continue reading

  • A pogonophobe’s view of facial hair in history


    Writer Lucinda Hawksley provides the seventh in our series of posts for Movember.  The series is commissioned by guest editor and “pogonographer-in-chief” for the month, Dr Alun Withey. My book, Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards, a history of facial hair in portraiture,… Continue reading

  • An epoch in the history of typography


    In the preface to The Anatomy of Sleep Jamaican–Scottish physician Edward Binns (1804–1851) claims to have written the first ever treatise on “procuring sleep at will, by directing the activity of the cerebral organs”. But that isn’t the only first… Continue reading

  • Women pharmacists demand the vote


    On Ada Lovelace Day, pharmacy historian Briony Hudson discovers the pioneering role of women pharmacists in the women’s suffrage movement. In April 1913 Bernard Gill submitted an article for publication to the Pharmaceutical Journal that arrived in a charred envelope.… Continue reading

  • Image of Trotula

    Speaking of Trotula


    In her inaugural post on the Early Medicine blog, Elma Brenner used an iconic image of the female practitioner ‘Trotula’ to introduce the new digitisation of Wellcome MS. 544, a 14th-century collection of Latin medical texts. Many students of the… Continue reading

  • British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries


    Wellcome Library is pleased to announce that it has subscribed to the database British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries. The collection covers the period 1500-1950 and provides fascinating insights into the personal experiences of almost 500 women. Library members… Continue reading

  • Women and the Great War


    This year has seen a huge amount of activity relating to the centenary of World War I. As March is Women’s History Month it seems appropriate to think about the sources we hold relating to the massive contribution to the… Continue reading