'Women's Little Secrets': Defining the Boundaries of Reproductive Knowledge in Sixteenth-century France

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Although there has been much recent work on the contribution of midwives to early modem medical practice, there has been less investigation of the participation of other women outside of the corporative or professional medical arena. This article seeks to examine how elite women were involved in medical discussion of reproduction, using the sixteenth-century correspondence surrounding the reproductive health of Elisabeth de Valois, Queen of Spain. Letters passed between the courts of France and Spain demonstrate that control of Elisabeth's reproductive health became a source of conflict between the Spanish and French. National rivalries created possibilities for women to be authoritative contributors in medical discussion with the support of university-trained physicians.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalSocial History of Medicine
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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