In this lecture, Elinor Cleghorn journeys through the infuriating and fascinating history of medical theories, ideas, and myths about women’s bodies, minds and illnesses. From the earliest classical tracts on women’s diseases, to the prominence of Hysteria in the 19th century, Cleghorn unpacks the roots of the mystification, misunderstanding and misdiagnosis that so many women experience today as they navigate their illnesses and health issues. Along the way, Cleghorn will tell stories of inspiring women physicians, campaigners, rebels, activists and patients who rewrote medicine’s sexist history with their incredible strength, courage and resilience.
Elinor Cleghorn unpacks the roots of the perpetual misunderstanding, mystification and misdiagnosis of women’s bodies, and traces the journey from the ‘wandering womb’ of ancient Greece, the rise of witch trials in Medieval Europe, through the dawn of Hysteria, to modern day understandings of autoimmune diseases, the menopause and conditions like endometriosis. Packed with character studies of women who have suffered, challenged and rewritten medical orthodoxy – and drawing on her own experience of un-diagnosed Lupus disease – 'Unwell Women' is a ground-breaking and timely exposé of the medical world and woman’s place within it.

As always, you will be able to submit your questions for Fern throughout the presentation, to be answered in the live Q&A at the end of the lecture.

To order a copy of Elinor's book- Unwell Women: A Journey Through Medicine and Myth in a Man-Made World, please visit Fox Lane Books-
Copies will have a signed book plate!

Terms and conditions can be found on our website-

Thursday July 22, 2021, starting at 7:00 PM BST
Immediate Media
Dr Elinor Cleghorn
Dr Elinor Cleghorn is a feminist cultural historian. After receiving her PhD in 2012, Elinor spent three years as a postdoctoral researcher on an interdisciplinary medical humanities project at the Ruskin School, University of Oxford. Elinor’s debut non-fiction book, Unwell Women: A Journey Through Medicine and Myth in a Man-Made World (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, UK) published in the UK in June 2021.
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