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  • Image of Queen Isabella of England.

    Queen Isabella’s regimen of health

    21/01/2017

    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

    30/12/2015

    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

    26/11/2015

    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

    23/11/2015

    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

    29/10/2015

    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

    13/10/2015

    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

    13/08/2015

    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

    28/07/2015

    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

    27/03/2014

    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

  • The rights to reproduction

    08/03/2014

    To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, here’s a 50 year old greeting from the archives that has some mystery about it. This card was sent to Carlos Paton Blacker (1895-1975): The reverse of the card says: “Warmest greetings… Continue reading