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19 June 2024

New Voices Summer 2024: Food, Plants, Remedies and Healing Practices: Women’s Ideas in the History of Medicine

| 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM | Jil Muller

Dr.  Justin Begley (University of Basel) Dr. Benjamin Goldberg (University of South Florida, USA): Margaret Cavendish and the Medical Establishment

This talk explores how the seventeenth-century philosopher Margaret Cavendish interacted with the medical world of her time. We examine a set of historiographical issues arising from a manuscript collection of her and William’s medical recipes, MS Pw V90, preserved in the archives of the University of Nottingham. Our transcription and analysis of this manuscript (The Medical World of Margaret Cavendish, Palgrave-MacMillan: 2023) challenges the common view that Cavendish opposed traditional Galenic medicine as well as the Scholastic tradition. In grappling with her views on professional medicine, we also investigate whether Cavendish faced any discrimination or mistreatment from her doctors because of her gender, as some have suggested, focusing on her relationship to one of her physicians in particular, the prominent doctor Théodore de Mayerne. Along the way, we highlight the medical achievements (mainly in the recipe field) of other noblewomen in Cavendish’s network.


About the Speakers:

Justin Begley is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Basel who focuses on early modern literature and intellectual history, particularly on the histories of science, medicine, and the book.
Benjamin Goldberg is an Associate Professor of Instruction at the University of South Florida in Tampa. His work focuses on the intersection of natural philosophy and medicine in late Renaissance and early modern Europe including the history of medicine and authors such as Fernel, Harvey, and Descartes.

19 June 2024

4:30 PM - 6:30 PM



Jil Muller


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