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Rhetoric, Medicine, and the Woman Writer, 1600-1700

Rhetoric, Medicine, and the Woman Writer, 1600-1700

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Lyn Bennett
Cambridge University Press, 4/1/2021
EAN 9781108441308, ISBN10: 1108441300

Paperback, 212 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.2 cm
Language: English
Originally published in English

How did physicians come to dominate the medical profession? Lyn Bennett challenges the seemingly self-evident belief that scientific competence accounts for physicians' dominance. Instead, she argues that the whole enterprise of learned medicine was, in large measure, facilitated by an intensely classical education that included extensive training in rhetoric, and that this rhetorical training is ultimately responsible for the achievement of professional dominance. Bennett examines previously unexplored connections among writers and genres as well as competing livelihoods and classes. Engaging the histories of rhetoric, medicine, literature, and culture throughout, she goes on to focus specifically on the work of women who professed as well as practiced medicine. Pointing to some of the ways women's writing shapes realities of body, mind, and spirit as it negotiates social, cultural, and professional ideologies of gender, this book offers an important corrective to some long-held beliefs about women's role in early modern discourse.

Introduction. 'Their plausible rhetoric'
Part I. Rhetoric and Medicine
1. 'Another mans profession'
physicians and clerics
2. 'Onely the learned'
physicians, empirics, and women
3. 'An eloquent tongue'
physicians and patients
Part II. The Woman Writer
4. 'Publishing those truthes'
women and affliction
5. 'Hard words and rhetoricall phrases'
women and learned medicine
6. 'A bare physician stuft with words'
women and domestic healing.