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Doctoring the past

Anne Summers, 24 September 1992

The Woman beneath the Skin: A Doctor’s Patients in 18th-Century Germany 
by Barbara Duden, translated by Thomas Dunlap.
Harvard, 241 pp., £19.95, September 1991, 0 674 95403 3
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The Nature of their Bodies: Women and their Doctors in Victorian Canada 
by Wendy Mitchinson.
Toronto, 474 pp., £40, August 1991, 0 8020 5901 5
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Hidden Anxieties: Male Sexuality, 1900-1950 
by Lesley Hall.
Polity, 218 pp., £35, May 1991, 0 7456 0741 1
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... the future would be fertile with similar contradictions and intellectual cohabitations. Certainly Wendy Mitchinson’s study of the professional treatment of women patients in Victorian Canada, based on health manuals, medical textbooks and journals, and patient records from hospitals, mental asylums and dispensaries, does not disappoint the enquirer ...

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