Wherein is set downe the government of women. In the time of their breeding childe: of their travaile, both naturall, and contrary to nature: and of their lying in. Together with the diseases, which happen to women in those times, and the meanes to helpe them. To which is added, a treatise of the diseases of infants, and young children: with the cure of them (James Guillimeau, 1635)
Wherein is set downe the government of women. In the time of their breeding childe: of their travaile, both naturall and contrary to nature: and of their lying in. Together with the diseases, which happen to women in those times, and the meanes to helpe them. With a treatise for the nursing of children. To which is added, a treatise of the diseases of infants, and young children: with the cure of them, and also of the small pox. Written in French by James Guillimeau the French Kings chirurgion.
This 1637 English translation, from the personal collection of Edward Worth’s father John Worth (1648-1688), focuses on maladies that affect women throughout their lives, not only just in childbirth. Rüff was a keen advocate of anatomy and is known for his anatomical treatises… On the first page, Rüff dedicates the volume:
“To all grave and modest Matrons, especially to such as have to do with women in that great danger of child-birth, as also, to all young practitioners in sick and surgery whom these matters may concern, Grace, Peace, and good success, in their undertakings, heartily wished.”
or the Whole Art of Midwifry Discovered by Jane Sharp (Jane Sharp, 1671)
The Midwives Book
When the midwife Jane Sharp wrote The Midwives Book in 1671, she became the first British woman to publish a midwifery manual. Drawing on works by her male contemporaries and weaving together medical information and lively anecdotes, she produced a book that is instructive, accessible, witty, and constantly surprising.
Fully and Plainly laying down whatever instructions are requisite to make a compleat midwife. And the many errors in all the books hitherto written upon this subject clearly refuted. (Hendrik van Deventer, 1716)
The Art of Midwifery Improv’d: Fully and Plainly laying down whatever instructions are requisite to make a compleat midwife. And the many errors in all the books hitherto written upon this subject clearly refuted.
Head, Indigenous Health Equity Unit, NHMRC Career Development Fellow, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne
London: Printed for John Brindley, at the King’s Arms in New Boss Street; John Clarke, under the Royal Exchange; and Charles Corbett, at Addison’s Head against St. Dunstan’s Church in Fleet Street, 1735.
(1st edn 1733)
Abrégé de l’art des accouchements
(Angelique Marguerite Le Boursier du Coudray, 1769)
In 1759, King Louis XV charged du Coudray with the responsibility of educating rural midwives, and du Coudray soon became a national sensation and international symbol of French medical advancement… At the King’s request, du Coudray began touring the French countryside to deliver medical lectures to rural midwives… The Abrégé compiles these lectures in the order in which du Coudray delivered them… But the King’s midwife’s most celebrated achievement was not the publication of her book, but rather the invention of her “machine,” to which she refers several times in the Abrégé. This “machine” was the first of its kind: a teaching model of the female reproductive system. It came with a leather and cloth fetus which could be placed in any number of different positions to simulate the complications of a real delivery…”
A set of anatomical tables
with explanations, and an abridgment of the practice of midwifery, with a view to illustrate a treatise on that subject, and collection of cases (William Smellie, 1793)
Stockham, AB. (c. 1911). Tokology: A Book for Every Woman. Revised editionNew York: RF Fenno & Co.
Tokology: A Book for Every Woman was written in 1885 by Alice Bunker Stockham, an obstetrician and gynecologist who practiced in the late nineteenth century. The term “tokology” refers to the study of childbirth, midwifery, and obstetrics. Stockham wrote Tokology for women to give them knowledge about issues related to childbirth and help them understand how to maintain their own health. The book empowered women by informing them about their own bodies and how they could optimize their own health. It covered many issues that women deal with and goes into detail about things that women may not have talked to their doctors about considering the lack of female doctors at the time of publication. The wide distribution of this book allowed for women of a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds to have access to information that was often only accessible to women who had access to physicians and the knowledge they possessed.