cover of book

A Mother’s Manual for the Women of Ferrara: A Fifteenth-Century Guide to Pregnancy and Pediatrics
by Michele Savonarola
edited by Gabriella Zuccolin
translated by Martin Marafioti
Iter Press, 2022
eISBN: 978-1-64959-031-2 | Paper: 978-1-64959-030-5
Library of Congress Classification RG67.I8
Dewey Decimal Classification 618.200945451

The first treatise of its kind to be written in a European vernacular.

Around 1460, Michele Savonarola produced the extraordinary Mother’s Manual for the Women of Ferrara, a gynecological, obstetrical, and pediatric treatise composed in the vernacular so that it could be read not only by the learned but also by pregnant and nursing mothers and the midwives and wet nurses who presided over childbirth. Savonarola’s work is not merely a trivial set of instructions, but the work of a learned scholar who drew on, among others, the ancient Greek physicians Hippocrates and Galen, and Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine. The first of its kind, Savonarola’s Mother’s Manual helps readers understand both the development of late-medieval and early-modern obstetrics and gynecology, as well as the experiences of women who turn to advice books for help with reproductive issues. This book also provides a key to understanding why and how a new genre of book—the midwifery manual or advice book for pregnant women—arose in sixteenth-century Italy and eventually became a popular genre all over Europe from the early modern period to the present day. 

See other books on: 15th century | Ferrara | Obstetrics | Pediatrics | Pregnancy
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