Sex and Suffering

Janet McCalman
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Sex and Suffering

Janet McCalman
A vivid social history of health and disease, medicine and nursing, and the intimate lives of ordinary women.
Sex and Suffering is a ground-breaking work. It tells the often shocking story of women's desperation to gain control over their lives and their health, and of medicine's struggle to comprehend and manage the mysteries of nature.
It offers a graphic and revealing history of childbirth in Australia; of the medical care of women; of nursing and gender roles; and of the impact of immigration on Australian society.
Remarkably, thousands of detailed case notes, from the 1850s to the 1930s, survived intact at the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne. For the first time in the English-speaking world a historian was allowed to work directly from these confidential patient records.
Janet McCalman vividly recreates the lives of patients and the daily work of a hospital. She enables readers to follow the institution through times of growth and economic depression, through the grim history of criminal abortion, and through the inspiring story of…
Sex and Suffering is a ground-breaking work. It tells the often shocking story of women's desperation to gain control over their lives and their health, and of medicine's struggle to comprehend and manage the mysteries of nature.
It offers a graphic and revealing history of childbirth in Australia; of the medical care of women; of nursing and gender roles; and of the impact of immigration on Australian society.
Remarkably, thousands of detailed case notes, from the 1850s to the 1930s, survived intact at the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne. For the first time in the English-speaking world a historian was allowed to work directly from these confidential patient records.
Janet McCalman vividly recreates the lives of patients and the daily work of a hospital. She enables readers to follow the institution through times of growth and economic depression, through the grim history of criminal abortion, and through the inspiring story of medical science and surgery since the coming of anaesthesia.
Sex and Suffering is a vivid and absorbing social history of women's health, seen through the work of Australia's oldest women's hospital.

Janet McCalman

Janet McCalman

Janet McCalman AC is the author of three award-winning books: Struggletown, Journeyings and Sex and Suffering and for eight years she wrote a fortnightly column in The Age. In recent years she has been working on cradle-to-grave studies of historical cohorts: first, babies born in Melbourne’s Women’s Hospital 1857-1900; second, Aboriginal Victorians 1840-1985; third on convicts transported to Tasmania 1803-1852 (Founders and Survivors); and currently on men who returned to Australia after serving…

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