1st Edition

Medical Advice for Women, 1830–1915

Edited By Ruth Robbins
    3184 Pages
    by Routledge

    Medical Advice for Women is a new five-volume collection from Routledge and Edition Synapse covering professional, scientific, and medical opinion, in addition to the popular guides aimed at the female reader, between the years 1830–1915.

    Medical literature from this period provides a fascinating insight into the interrelations between social proscriptions, often validated by appeals to religious authority, and medical prescriptions. The narrative contained within this largely chronological collection is not necessarily a progressive one from quackery to medical and scientific enlightenment; the situation was more nuanced than selective quotation from sensational examples has implied in the past. This collection, edited and with a new introduction by Ruth Robbins, illuminates the complexity and shifting grounds of opinion in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by bringing back into print a broad selection of texts offering medical advice to women, and will be of interest to all scholars and students working in gender and cultural studies, and particularly to historians and sociologists of medicine.

    Volume I


    1. Thomas Bull, Hints to Mothers for the Management of Health During the Period of Pregnancy and in the Lying-in Room (London: Longman, Green & Co., 1837; 16th edition, 1865)

    2. Edward J. Tilt, On the Preservation of the Health of Women at the Critical Periods of Life (London: John Churchill, 1851)

    3. Mrs [Eliza] Warren, How I Managed My Children from Infancy to Marriage (London: Houston and Wright, 1865)

    Volume II

    4. Pye Henry Chavasse, Advice to a Wife on the Management of Her own Health and on the Treatment of Some of the Complaints Incidental to Pregnancy, Labour and Suckling; with an Introductory Chapter Especially Addressed to a Young Wife (London: John Churchill and Sons, 1866)

    5. Lionel Weatherly, The Young Wife’s Own Book: A Manual of Personal and Family Hygiene. Containing Everything that the Young Wife Ought to Know Concerning Her own Health and that of Her Children at the Most Important Periods of Life (London: Griffith Farran and Co., 1882)

    Volume III

    6. J. H. Kellogg, Ladies’ Guide in Health and Disease: Girlhood, Maidenhood, Wifehood, Motherhood (Battle Creek, Michigan: Good Health Publishing, 1891)

    Volume IV

    7. Howard Atwood Kelly, Medical Gynecology (New York and London: D. Appleton and Company, 1908; 2nd edition, 1909) (with 163 illustrations for the most part by Max Broedel and A. Horn)

    Volume V

    8. Mary Putnam Jacobi, The Question of Rest for Women During Menstruation (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1877) (winner of the Boylston Prize Essay of Harvard University for 1876)

    9. Mary Scharlieb, The Seven Ages of Woman: A Consideration of the Successive Phases of Woman’s Life (London, New York, Toronto, and Melbourne: Cassell and Company, Ltd, 1915)


    Ruth Robbins is a widely published Senior Lecturer in English in the School of Cultural Studies of Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. Her research centres on the late-Victorian period in English literature, especially the literature of decadence, including the writings of Oscar Wilde, Arthur Symons and Vernon Lee. She also has research interests in literary theory, particularly post-structuralist theories and a wide range of feminist positions. She is currently working on a monograph, Subjectivity, for Palgrave Macmillan, and on a literary life of Oscar Wilde.