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British Women Surgeons and their Patients, 1860–1918
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    Marland, Hilary 2017. ‘Bicycle-Face’ and ‘Lawn Tennis’ Girls. Media History, p. 1.


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Book description

When women agitated to join the medical profession in Britain during the 1860s, the practice of surgery proved both a help (women were neat, patient and used to needlework) and a hindrance (surgery was brutal, bloody and distinctly unfeminine). In this major new study, Claire Brock examines the cultural, social and self-representation of the woman surgeon from the second half of the nineteenth century until the end of the Great War. Drawing on a rich archive of British hospital records, she investigates precisely what surgery women performed and how these procedures affected their personal and professional reputation, as well as the reactions of their patients to these new phenomena. Essential reading for those interested in the history of medicine, British Women Surgeons and their Patients, 1860–1918 provides wide-ranging new perspectives on patient narratives and women's participation in surgery between 1860 and 1918. This title is also available as Open Access.

Reviews

‘This book reconstructs the experience of both women surgeons as well as women patients - a unique combination of perspectives that is highly relevant for the history of surgery, but also for present day discussions.'

Thomas Schlich - McGill University, Montréal

'Claire Brock provides a fascinating and pioneering study of early women surgeons and their intersections with the changing practice of surgery. This is an important addition to the literature on women doctors, and a must read for all those interested in women’s complex relationships with medicine.'

Hilary Marland - University of Warwick

‘With the entry of women into Victorian surgery in Britain, gender roles and occupational identities were reshaped. In this important work Claire Brock shows how women variously adopted the masculine culture of nineteenth-century surgeons and feminised a traditional male practice. Sensitivity to nuance is the key to what was happening here and Brock displays it in abundance.’

Christopher Lawrence - Emeritus Professor of the History of Medicine, University College London

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Autograph Letter Collection, Women's Library, London School of Economics.
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Records of Royal Free Hospital, Royal Free London, NHS Foundation Trust, London Metropolitan Archives.
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  • Medical Record: A Weekly Journal of Medicine and Surgery

  • Medico-Chirurgical Transactions

  • Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine (PRSM)

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