Social Dynamics and the Management of Sickness and Healthcare in Elite English Families, c.1620-1750
Supervisor: Dr Mark Jenner
My research explores how experiences, practices and discourses of sickness and healthcare intersected with individual and familial identity, power dynamics, order and negotiations of authority within gentry households. Primarily based on personal correspondence, alongside household accounts, medical recipe books and autobiographical writing, my thesis argues that quotidian healthcare activities shaped and were shaped by unique interpersonal relationships and micro-politics within families and their communities. This project is funded by the Wolfson Foundation and grew out of my two previous dissertations. My undergraduate thesis, completed at Durham University, examined laywomen’s medical knowledge, while my Master’s dissertation at York focused on marital conflict in the seventeenth-century church courts. My wider research interests include gender, marriage, domestic life, medicine and the body, and the social history of early modern England more generally.
"Abigail Harley and Brampton Bryan: making a medical commonwealth", Early Modern Medicine (June 2020)