The Nature of their Bodies: Women and their Doctors in Victorian Canada

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$28.95
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 94%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (20) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $33.68   
  • Used (17) from $1.99   

Overview

In 1864 a woman was admitted to the Toronto asylum and diagnosed as suffering from ‘mania,’ a not uncommon diagnosis for women, a step beyond ‘hysteria.’ The cause cited by doctors for the patient’s insanity was lactation.

This was one of the scores of cases cited by Wendy Mitchinson in her history of the medical treatment of women in Victorian Canada. The cases, combined with the medical literature of the period, reflect the society’s preoccupations, both among the general population and the medical profession. Above all, they illustrate in sharp detail the society’s perception of women.

For most medical practitioners, the male body was taken to be the norm; women were ‘other.’ Doctors were uncomfortable with some of the central physiological experiences of women, such as menstruation and menopause. They often felt that healthy bodies should not undergo such stresses.

From this attitude it was a short leap to viewing the normal functions of women’s bodies as illnesses to be treated by specialists. One of the most significant medical developments of this period was the rise of gynaecology and medical obstetrics as major medical specialties. Practitioners used surgical gynaecology to alleviate disorders – mental as well as physical – in women.

In documenting the changing nature of interventional medicine, Mitchinson considers the medical treatment of women within the context of what was available to physicians at the time. She also explores the kind of pressure that women themselves brought to bear. Faced with a medical profession that viewed them as creatures of weakness, women used their strength and stamina to change attitudes and treatments.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A history of the medical treatment of women in Victorian Canada. The numerous cases cited, combined with the medical literature of the period, reflect the society's preoccupations, both among the general population and the medical profession, and illustrate the society's perceptions of women. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802068408
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/1991
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendy Mitchinson is a Canada Research Chair in Gender and Medical History and a professor in the Department of History at the University of Waterloo.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)