The history of public health has been a flourishing field in the last three decades. Yet despite a spate of excellent monographs about various epidemic diseases and many good collections about health and disease in Africa, Asia, The Middle East, Latin America, as well as Europe and North America, the most recent textbook on the history of public health is four decades old.
Early-modern Europe (here covering the years from 1492 to 1750) was constantly beset by plagues of all kinds. Scarcely a year passed in western Europe until the 1720s without an outbreak of ‘pestilence’, and scarcely a decade without a major epidemic that killed ten, twenty, or even forty per cent of the community. Expansion brought with it new dangers.
Centring on the period from the 11th to the early 16th centuries, this collection of eleven essays and a foreword by both well-established and younger scholars addresses a range of still-unexplored aspects of medieval women’s involvement in medical treatment and health care, as well as their role in the consumption, transmission, and production of medical knowledge.