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Rhetoric, Medicine, and the Woman Writer, 1600–1700


  • Date Published: February 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108425193

£ 75.00

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About the Authors
  • How did physicians come to dominate the medical profession? Lyn Bennett challenges the seemingly self-evident belief that scientific competence accounts for physicians' dominance. Instead, she argues that the whole enterprise of learned medicine was, in large measure, facilitated by an intensely classical education that included extensive training in rhetoric, and that this rhetorical training is ultimately responsible for the achievement of professional dominance. Bennett examines previously unexplored connections among writers and genres as well as competing livelihoods and classes. Engaging the histories of rhetoric, medicine, literature, and culture throughout, she goes on to focus specifically on the work of women who professed as well as practiced medicine. Pointing to some of the ways women's writing shapes realities of body, mind, and spirit as it negotiates social, cultural, and professional ideologies of gender, this book offers an important corrective to some long-held beliefs about women's role in early modern discourse.

    • Confirms the role of a range of female authors in early modern medicine's discursive self-fashioning
    • Considers a range of genres in examining how medical and popular works shaped even as they were inflected by the self-fashioning discourse of early modern medicine
    • Offers a model of how rhetorical analysis can deepen our understanding of ideologies and cultures
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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108425193
    • length: 208 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. 'Their plausible rhetoric'
    Part I. Rhetoric and Medicine:
    1. 'Another mans profession': physicians and clerics
    2. 'Onely the learned': physicians, empirics, and women
    3. 'An eloquent tongue': physicians and patients
    Part II. The Woman Writer:
    4. 'Publishing those truthes': women and affliction
    5. 'Hard words and rhetoricall phrases': women and learned medicine
    6. 'A bare physician stuft with words': women and domestic healing.

  • Author

    Lyn Bennett, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia
    Lyn Bennett is an associate professor of English at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia. Her interest in rhetoric, writing, and medicine informs her teaching as well as her research. She is the author of Women Writing of Divinest Things: Rhetoric in the Poetry of Pembroke, Wroth, and Lanyer (2004) and her work also appears in publications as diverse as Christianity and Literature, Genre, and the Journal of Medical Humanities.

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