Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Hertfordshire, UK
Website URL
Early Modern, Bodies, Medicine, Gender, seventeenth century
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Personal Info

About Me

I am a senior lecturer in History at the University of Hertfordshire. My research focuses on gender, the body and medicine in early modern England. In particular I am interested in issues to do with the health, sex and reproduction. More broadly my research touches upon ideas of marriage, the family and medical practitioners.

I am the founding editor of where I blog about early modern medicine, bodies and gender.

My doctoral thesis, completed at the University of Exeter in 2011, supervised by Dr Sarah Toulalan and Professor Alex Walsham, examined infertility and the understanding of aphrodisiacs in the early modern period. A monograph based on this work was published in October 2014 as part of the Royal Historical Society’s studies in history series.

I am now working on a research project (initially supported by a postdoctoral research fellowship with the Society for Renaissance Studies) ,which looks at men’s sexual health in early modern England.

Recent Publications


With Sara Read, Maladies and Medicine: Exploring Health and Healing 1540-1740 (Pen and Sword Press, July 2017)

Aphrodisiacs, Fertility and Medicine in Early Modern England(Boydell & Brewer, October 2014).

With Alun Withey, Framing the Face: new perspectives on the history of facial hair (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)

With Ciara Meehan, Perceptions of Pregnancy from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century (Palgrave Macmillan, January 2017)


Peer Reviewed Articles:

‘Patients, Practitioners and Lodgers: Male Sexual Health Patients’ and Their Healers’ use of Space in Early Modern Medical Encounters’, Gender & History, 31/1 (November 2018), 1-20. Available Open Access here.

‘“They are called Imperfect men”: Male Infertility and Sexual Health in Early Modern England’, Social History of Medicine, 29/2 (2016), 311332. Available open access here.

with Sara Read, ‘“Before Midnight she had miscarried”: Women, Men and Miscarriage in Early Modern England, forthcoming, The Journal of Family History, 40 (January 2015), 323.

‘Female Barrenness, Bodily Access and Aromatic Treatments in Seventeenth-Century England’ Historical Research, 87/237 (August 2014), 423-443. Available open access  here.

Magazine and Newspaper pieces:

With Sara Read, ‘Blood made White’: the relationship between blood and breastmilk in Early Modern England, Hektoen International (5 November 2019). Available Open Access

‘Snuffs and Sneezes Cure Diseases’, History Today (January 2019).

‘Coughs & Sneezes & Dead Diseases’, iNews (August 2017).

‘Goats Dung, Mummified Flesh and Vomiting’, Shakespeare Magazine (July 2017).

Media Coverage
I have worked on radio and television, as well as print media. Please see
Country Focus
United Kingdom
Expertise by Geography
Expertise by Chronology
17th century
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Medicine, Sexuality, Women