14th/15th Century Women's Health Bibliography

Query From Carol DeBoer-Langworthy Carol_Deboer-Langworth@brown.edu 25 Feb 1998

Request on behalf of a student:

A student in my class on autobiography wishes to do a paper on women's health issues in the 14th century. Her curiosity was piqued by our reading of _The Book of Margery Kempe_ as the first book in the course. Initially this student (who is a biology major at Brown)is interested in childbirth mortality rates, types of diseases, and stated causes of death. However, other aspects of this larger question may intrigue her as she gets into the texts. Any suggestions as to where to begin, with narrative social history or data sources, would be helpful. This isn't my time period, I am little help to her, and would appreciate any suggestions from members of the List. I will forward them to her. Many thanks.


Achterberg, Jeanne _Woman as Healer_ (Boston: Shambhala, 1990).

Brady, Oberman, and Tracy, Eds. _Handbook of European History 1400-1600_, Vol. 1; articles by deVries, Wiesner, Robisheaux, Rowan, and Scribner. Vol 11...the Levack article

Bynum, Carolyn Walker _Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Significance of Food to Medieval Women_

Finch, Bernard Ephraim and Hugh Green, Eds. _Contraception Through The Ages_ (Springfield, Ill., Thomas, 1964).

Green, Monica _The Curious History of Contraception_(NY: St. Martin's Press, 1972).

Herlihy, David and Christine Klapisch-Zuber _Tuscans and Their Families_(Boston: Yale U Press, 1985).

Klapisch-Zuber, Christine _Women, Family , and Ritual in Renaissance Italy_ Lydia Cochrane, trans. (Chicago, 1987).

Lefkowitz, Mary R. and Maureen B. Fant _Women's Life In Greece and Rome: A Source Book in Translation_(John Hopkins U Press, 1982, reprint 1992).

McLauren, Angus _A History of Contraception: From Antiquity to the Present Day_(Oxford, UK; Cambridge,MA,USA: B. Blackwell,1990).

Noonan, John Thomas _Contraception and Abortion From the Ancient World to the Renaissance_(Cambridge, MA: Harvard U Press, 1992).

Outhwaite, R.B., Ed. _Marriage and Society: Studies in the Social History of Marriage_ (London, 1981).

Riddle, John _Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance_(London: Harvard U Press, 1992).

Salisbury, Joyce _Medieval Sexuality, A Research Guide_. NY: Garland Publishing (1990s)

Suitters, Beryl _The History of Contraceptives:Prepared For the Medical Committee_ (London: International Planned Parenthood Federation, 1967).

Wiesner, Merry _Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe_

Wiesner, Ruff and Wheeler _Discovering the Western World_

[Ed. Note: Thanks to Thomas Cardoza, UC Santa Barbara, for most of the suggested books on contraception, via a post on H-France]