Introduction to Special Issue: Infertility and Medicine in Medieval and Early Modern England
Social History of Medicine
Oxford University Press (OUP) for Society for the Social History of Medicine
© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for the Social History of Medicine. All rights reserved.
Reason for embargo
Although the history of pregnancy and childbirth have been studied extensively in recent decades, infertility has received less historical attention, especially for the pre-modern period. This collection makes steps towards filling this gap. The introduction offers some insights on the significance of the history of infertility to scholarship on gender relations and the construction of gendered identities, midwifery and reproductive medicine, and the history of the family. It further offers some context and background to the history of infertility by briefly surveying how premodern medicine explained fertility problems and sought to treat them, and the social dimensions of infertility in this period. In addition, it highlights key themes in the articles to follow.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.