The Heart of the Matter: Love and Care in Health Humanities

Brid Phillips, Michael Stevens, Claire Hansen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


This chapter, “The Heart of the Matter: Love and Care in Health Humanities,” investigates how the multiple meanings of the heart and of love can be brought to bear on a multidisciplinary investigation of love-as-care in literary studies (through the works of William Shakespeare) and in biomedical engineering (through the innovation of artificial hearts). In both cases, the heart is witnessed as both a physical body part and a site of love-as-care. In this chapter, Phillips, Stevens, and Hansen establish a basis for this approach, centring on a health humanities-informed concept of therapeutic love. Then, they apply this concept at a literary and a clinical level, considering manifestations of therapeutic love in Shakespeare’s King Lear, before examining the role of love-as-care in the post-implantation management of patients with artificial hearts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Love Studies in the Arts and Humanities
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783031260551
ISBN (Print)9783031260544
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2023


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