Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Reading
Website URL
seventeenth century, medicine, surgery, disability, self-harm, sixteenth century, eighteenth century, early modern, shakespeare, donne, john ward, prosthesis, cosmetic surgery
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I’m a literary scholar focussing on the history of medicine and the body. My first book looked at how cancer was conceived of, diagnosed and treated in the early modern period c.1580-1720. My forthcoming book explores surgery and disability in the seventeenth century, asking what happened to people who underwent life-altering operations such as amputation, castration, and mastectomy.

In addition to surgery, medicine and body studies, I also have interest in early modern cognition and mentall illness, gender, and transhumanism.

Recent Publications

1. [Under review] Monograph: Altered States: The Surgically Changed Body in Early Modern England.

2. [In press] Article: ‘”With one stroak of his razour”: tales of self-gelding in early modern England.’ Journal for the Social History of Medicine (open access).

3. Article: ‘Missing Parts in The Shoemaker’s HolidayRenaissance Drama 45:2 (Fall 2017) pp. 161–179 (open access). Discussing the treatment of disability in Thomas Dekker’s 1600 play, and how this relates to attitudes toward disabled ex-soldiers in Eilzabethan England.

4. Article: ‘”Keep your face out of my way or I’ll bite off your nose”: Homoplastics, Sympathy, and the Noble Body in the Tatler, 1710’ Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, 17.4 (Fall 2017): 113-132. This article argued that the nose ‘replacement’ operation pioneered by Gaspare Tagliacozzi in the 1500s was used as a motif by satirists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to discuss the fallibility of physiognomy and the ‘noble body.’

6. Monograph: Constructions of Cancer in Early Modern England, c.1580 – 1720: Ravenous Natures. ‘Literature and Science’ series, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015 (open access). The first book about cancer in the early modern period, this text showed how cancer was diagnosed and treated, and how it was differentiated from other tumorous diseases. 

7. Book chapter: ‘The Worm and the Flesh: Cankered Bodies in Shakespeare’s Sonnets’ in Sujata Iyengar, ed, Disability, Health and Happiness in the Shakespearean Body (N.Y; Oxon: Routledge, 2015), pp.240-60.

8. Article: ‘Wombs, Worms and Wolves: Constructing Cancer in Early Modern England’ Social History of Medicine 27.4 (2014): 632-648. doi: 10.1093/shm/hku039 (open access).


Media Coverage
Country Focus
United Kingdom
Expertise by Geography
United Kingdom
Expertise by Chronology
17th century, 18th century
Expertise by Topic
Disability, Gender, Material Culture, Medicine, Sexuality, Women