Pocky Wenches Versus La Pauvre Femme: Medical Perceptions of Venereal Disease in Seventeenth-century England and France Metadata

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Title

  • Main Title Pocky Wenches Versus La Pauvre Femme: Medical Perceptions of Venereal Disease in Seventeenth-century England and France

Creator

  • Author: Findlater, Michelle J.
    Creator Type: Personal

Contributor

  • Chair: Morris, Marilyn
    Contributor Type: Personal
    Contributor Info: Major Professor
  • Chair: Stern, Laura
    Contributor Type: Personal
  • Chair: Roberts, Walter
    Contributor Type: Personal

Publisher

  • Name: University of North Texas
    Place of Publication: Denton, Texas
    Additional Info: www.unt.edu

Date

  • Creation: 2013-12

Language

  • English

Description

  • Content Description: In early modern Europe, syphilis tormented individuals regardless of social standing. The various stages of infection rendered individuals with visible chancres or “pocky” marks throughout their body. The tertiary stage signaled the spreading of the disease from the infected parts into the brain and cardiovascular system, eventually leading to dementia and a painful death. Beginning with the initial medical responses to venereal disease in the sixteenth century and throughout the early modern period, medical practitioners attempted to identify the cause of syphilis. During the seventeenth century, English practitioners maintained that women were primarily responsible for both the creation and transmission of syphilis. In England, venereal disease became the physical manifestation of illicit sexual behavior and therefore women with syphilis demonstrated their sexual immorality. Contrastingly, French medical practitioners refrained from placing blame on women for venereal infection. The historiography of early modern discourse on venereal disease fails to account for this discrepancy between English and French perceptions of syphilis in the seventeenth century. This thesis seeks to fill the gap in this historiography and suggest why French practitioners abstained from singling out women as the primary source of venereal infection by suggesting the importance that cultural influences and religious practices had toward shaping medical perceptions. The cultural impact of the querelle des femmes and Catholic practices in France plausibly influenced the better portrayal of women within the medical treatises of seventeenth-century France when compared to Protestant England.

Subject

  • Keyword: Syphilis
  • Keyword: pox
  • Keyword: early modern medicine

Collection

  • Name: UNT Theses and Dissertations
    Code: UNTETD

Institution

  • Name: UNT Libraries
    Code: UNT

Rights

  • Rights Access: public
  • Rights Holder: Findlater, Michelle J.
  • Rights License: copyright
  • Rights Statement: Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise noted. All rights Reserved.

Resource Type

  • Thesis or Dissertation

Format

  • Text

Identifier

  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc407748

Degree

  • Academic Department: Department of History
  • Degree Discipline: History
  • Degree Level: Master's
  • Degree Name: Master of Arts
  • Degree Grantor: University of North Texas
  • Degree Publication Type: thesi

Note