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A Cultural History of the Human Body in the Age of Enlightenment

A Cultural History of the Human Body in the Age of Enlightenment, Volume 4

by Carole Reeves

Carole Reeves is Outreach Historian at The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, University College London, UK. She is co-author of Medical Book Illustration: A Short History. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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(ed)
Bloomsbury Academic, 2010
  • DOI:
    10.5040/9781350049758
  • ISBN:
    978-1-3500-4975-8 (online)

    978-1-84788-791-7 (hardback)

    978-1-4725-5465-9 (paperback)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
    London
  • Published Online:
    2017
A Cultural History of the Human Body in the Age of Enlightenment
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The Enlightenment was a time when people began to take stock of their intrinsic worth as individuals. Of course, slaves were still property, servants and apprentices were indentured, daughters "belonged" to fathers and brothers, wives to husbands and paupers were tethered to their parish. But change was in the air as increased population, migration and urbanization began to reshape both national and personal identity.

The birth of modern society in the Enlightenment demanded a rethinking of the human body in all its forms, from conception to death and beyond. The history of midwives, medics, colonialists, cross-dressers, corpses, vampires, witches, beggars, beauties, body-snatchers, incest and immaculate conceptions - all reveal how the body changed in this age of turbulence and transition.