Catalogue


Secrets of women : gender, generation and the origins of human dissection /
Katharine Park.
imprint
New York : Zone Books, 2006.
description
419 p.
ISBN
1890951684 (Paper), 9781890951689 (Paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Zone Books, 2006.
isbn
1890951684 (Paper)
9781890951689 (Paper)
catalogue key
6095197
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
"She relates a fascinating history of women on the dissection table.... Park's book will undoubtedly prove to be an important contribution to the history of anatomy. For the first time it extensively discusses the history of anatomy from the viewpoint of the corpse and, because of its particular focus on women's bodies, it will radically change the way we think about the (male) history of the anatomized body. As such, the book is a 'must read' for anyone working on the history of pre-modern medicine. But because of its lucid style and fascinating argument, it is also surprisingly accessible, and I recommend it to anyone interested in the history of anatomy." - Nature
"Park's book will undoubtedly prove to be an important contribution to the history of anatomy. For the first time, it extensively discusses the history of anatomy from the viewpoint of the corpse and, because of its particular focus on women's bodies, it will radically change the way we think about the (male) history of the anatomized body." Nature
"Park's meticulously documented book is medical historiography at its best.... She has shed light on a notion-'the secrets of women'-that should have long ago been recognized as deserving far more attention than has been paid to it." - Sherwin B. Nubland, The New Republic
"Park's meticulously documented book is medical historiography at its best.... [Park] has shed light on a notion-'the secrets of women'-that should have long ago been recognized as deserving far more attention than has been paid to it." -Sherwin B. Nuland, The New Republic
"Park's book will undoubtedly prove to be an important contribution to the history of anatomy. For the first time, it extensively discusses the history of anatomy from the viewpoint of the corpse and, because of its particular focus on women's bodies, it will radically change the way we think about the (male) history of the anatomized body." -Nature
"Park's book will undoubtedly prove to be an important contribution to the history of anatomy. For the first time, it extensively discusses the history of anatomy from the viewpoint of the corpse and, because of its particular focus on women's bodies, it will radically change the way we think about the (male) history of the anatomized body." - Nature
"Park's meticulously documented book is medical historiography at its best.... She has shed light on a notion-'the secrets of women'-that should have long ago been recognized as deserving far more attention than has been paid to it." - Sherwin B. Nubland , The New Republic
"Park's meticulously documented book is medical historiography at its best.... [Park] has shed light on a notion-'the secrets of women'-that should have long ago been recognized as deserving far more attention than has been paid to it." - Sherwin B. Nuland , The New Republic
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Women's bodies and the study of anatomy in Italy between the late thirteenth and the mid-sixteenth centuries.
Main Description
Winner, 2009 William Welch Medal given by the American Association for the History of Medicine. and Winner, 2007 Margaret W. Rossiter Prize given by the History of Science Society (HSS). Toward the end of the Middle Ages, medical writers and philosophers began to devote increasing attention to what they called "women's secrets," by which they meant female sexuality and generation. At the same time, Italian physicians and surgeons began to open human bodies in order to study their functions and the illnesses that afflicted them, culminating in the great illustrated anatomical treatise of Andreas Vesalius in 1543. Katharine Park traces these two closely related developments through a series of case studies of women whose bodies were dissected after their deaths: an abbess, a lactating virgin, several patrician wives and mothers, and an executed criminal. Drawing on a variety of texts and images, she explores the history of women's bodies in Italy between the late thirteenth and the mid-sixteenth centuries in the context of family identity, religious observance, and women's health care. Secrets of Women explodes the myth that medieval religious prohibitions hindered the practice of human dissection in medieval and Renaissance Italy, arguing that female bodies, real and imagined, played a central role in the history of anatomy during that time. The opened corpses of holy women revealed sacred objects, while the opened corpses of wives and mothers yielded crucial information about where babies came from and about the forces that shaped their vulnerable flesh. In the process, what male writers knew as the "secrets of women" came to symbolize the most difficult challenges posed by human bodies-challenges that dissection promised to overcome. Park's study of women's bodies and men's attempts to know them-and through these efforts to know their own-demonstrates the centrality of gender to the development of early modern anatomy.
Main Description
Winner, 2009 William Welch Medal given by the American Association for the History of Medicine. and Winner, 2007 Margaret W. Rossiter Prize given by the History of Science Society (HSS). Toward the end of the Middle Ages, medical writers and philosophers began to devote increasing attention to what they called "women's secrets," by which they meant female sexuality and generation. At the same time, Italian physicians and surgeons began to open human bodies in order to study their functions and the illnesses that afflicted them, culminating in the great illustrated anatomical treatise of Andreas Vesalius in 1543. Katharine Park traces these two closely related developments through a series of case studies of women whose bodies were dissected after their deaths: an abbess, a lactating virgin, several patrician wives and mothers, and an executed criminal. Drawing on a variety of texts and images, she explores the history of women's bodies in Italy between the late thirteenth and the mid-sixteenth centuries in the context of family identity, religious observance, and women's health care. Secrets of Womenexplodes the myth that medieval religious prohibitions hindered the practice of human dissection in medieval and Renaissance Italy, arguing that female bodies, real and imagined, played a central role in the history of anatomy during that time. The opened corpses of holy women revealed sacred objects, while the opened corpses of wives and mothers yielded crucial information about where babies came from and about the forces that shaped their vulnerable flesh. In the process, what male writers knew as the "secrets of women" came to symbolize the most difficult challenges posed by human bodies-challenges that dissection promised to overcome. Park's study of women's bodies and men's attempts to know them-and through these efforts to know their own-demonstrates the centrality of gender to the development of early modern anatomy.
Bowker Data Service Summary
'Secrets of Women' explodes the myth that medieval religious prohibitions hindered the practice of human dissection in medieval and Renaissance Italy, arguing that female bodies, real and imagined, played a central role in the history of anatomy during that time.
Main Description
Toward the end of the Middle Ages, medical writers and philosophers began to devote increasing attention to what they called "women's secrets," by which they meant female sexuality and generation. At the same time, Italian physicians and surgeons began to open human bodies in order to study their functions and the illnesses that afflicted them, culminating in the great illustrated anatomical treatise of Andreas Vesalius in 1543. Katharine Park traces these two closely related developments through a series of case studies of women whose bodies were dissected after their deaths: an abbess, a lactating virgin, several patrician wives and mothers, and an executed criminal. Drawing on a variety of texts and images, she explores the history of women's bodies in Italy between the late thirteenth and the mid-sixteenth centuries in the context of family identity, religious observance, and women's health care.Secrets of Women explodes the myth that medieval religious prohibitions hindered the practice of human dissection in medieval and Renaissance Italy, arguing that female bodies, real and imagined, played a central role in the history of anatomy during that time. The opened corpses of holy women revealed sacred objects, while the opened corpses of wives and mothers yielded crucial information about where babies came from and about the forces that shaped their vulnerable flesh. In the process, what male writers knew as the "secrets of women" came to symbolize the most difficult challenges posed by human bodies-- challenges that dissection promised to overcome. Park's study of women's bodies and men's attempts to know them--and through these efforts to know their own--demonstrates the centrality of gender to the development of early modern anatomy.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. 9
Introductionp. 13
Holy Anatomiesp. 39
Secrets of Womenp. 77
The Mother's Partp. 121
The Evidence of the Sensesp. 161
The Empire of Anatomyp. 207
Epiloguep. 261
Notesp. 269
Bibliographyp. 359
Photo Creditsp. 401
Indexp. 403
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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