The editor of this volume has pulled together a collection of essays directed toward the history of women as healers. The essays are divided into two groups--the first dealing with women healers in the medieval and renaissance periods of Europe, and the second addressing the emergence of professionalism, beginning with an essay on women physicians in ancient Greece, Rome and the Byzantine Empire and moving quickly to nineteenth-century Russia, Germany, England, Australia and America.

The subject matter of each essay reflects the period covered. Most use definitive examples of individual women healers who were either unusually effective or who reflect the struggles women had with the existing local social or medical hierarchy in gaining the opportunity to train for or practice their chosen profession.


The individual essays are uniformly strong, well written, and well researched. There is a great deal of information presented for the reader who is interested in extending his or her knowledge of the basis of current attitudes towards women in the healing professions. A few of the essays approach the assessment of women's role in healing through drama; the remainder draw upon a more clearly historical research model. Together, the essays, although not in strict temporal continuity, serve to fill some gaps and reinforce (and in some instances) question contemporary ideas about the history of women as practitioners of medicine.


Univ. Press of Kentucky

Place Published

Lexington, Ky.




Lilian R. Furst

Page Count