Sunday, June 16, 2019

Question from Jane - Attitudes, etc. towards menopause in Tudor England

Hi , I am currently researching , or rather trying to research Tudor attitudes and customs etc regarding menopause . However, I cant seem to find anything other than the association of post menopausal women as witches. If you can help in anyway I would be really grateful. Anything to point me in the right direction . Many Thanks Jane Cummins

1 comment:

PhD Historian said...

You have set a large challenge for yourself! The source material will be very limited. I suggest starting with medical texts of the period. Many are available through Early English Books Online (EEBO), if you can find a university library that has access to that database. But those types of materials will provide only a male perspective on a female bodily process. Source material generated by women will be very scarce indeed. Only about 5% of women were literate in the 16th century, so they left little in the way of personal records such a diaries and letters. I have read quite a few in my studies, and I do not recall that any of them ever ventured into the topic of menopause. But it would be worth looking for them anyway. And you might also try searching EEBO for household manuals and other prescriptive literature aimed at women.