Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine
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Constructions of Cancer in Early Modern England

Ravenous Natures

Authors: Skuse, Alanna

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  • ISBN 978-1-137-48753-7
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About this book

This book is open access under a CC-BY licence.

Cancer is perhaps the modern world's most feared disease. Yet, we know relatively little about this malady's history before the nineteenth century. This book provides the first in-depth examination of perceptions of cancerous disease in early modern England. Looking to drama, poetry and polemic as well as medical texts and personal accounts, it contends that early modern people possessed an understanding of cancer which remains recognizable to us today. Many of the ways in which medical practitioners and lay people imagined cancer – as a 'woman's disease' or a 'beast' inside the body – remain strikingly familiar, and they helped to make this disease a byword for treachery and cruelty in discussions of religion, culture and politics. Equally, cancer treatments were among the era's most radical medical and surgical procedures. From buttered frog ointments to agonizing and dangerous surgeries, they raised abiding questions about the nature of disease and the proper role of the medical practitioner.

About the authors

Alanna Skuse is a scholar of early modern literature and history, who has lectured at the Universities of Bristol and Exeter, UK. She has previously published on early modern treatments for cancer and on the uses of 'canker' in Shakespeare's Sonnets.

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)
  • Introduction

    Pages 1-19

    Skuse, Alanna

  • What Was Cancer? Definition, Diagnosis and Cause

    Pages 20-39

    Skuse, Alanna

  • Cancer and the Gendered Body

    Pages 40-60

    Skuse, Alanna

  • ‘It Is, Say Some, of a Ravenous Nature’: Zoomorphic Images of Cancer

    Pages 61-73

    Skuse, Alanna

  • Cancerous Growth and Malignancy

    Pages 74-93

    Skuse, Alanna

Buy this book

eBook  
  • ISBN 978-1-137-48753-7
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on link.springer.com
Hardcover $31.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-48752-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions & severe weather in the US may cause delays
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
Softcover $23.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-56919-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions & severe weather in the US may cause delays
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Constructions of Cancer in Early Modern England
Book Subtitle
Ravenous Natures
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
Alanna Skuse
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-48753-7
DOI
10.1057/9781137487537
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-48752-0
Softcover ISBN
978-1-137-56919-6
Series ISSN
2634-6435
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 219
Topics