The Victorian woman writer who refused to let doctors define her

Published November 4, 2021

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Smithsonian quoted Rachel Ablow in an article on Harriet Martineau, a famous British author and intellectual who lived and wrote during the Victorian Age. The article focused on the way that Martineau responded to an illness that kept her mostly bedridden for years. Ablow said, “Martineau was extremely unusual in the amount of control she had over her own medical care. She was very much in the driver’s seat, and that was pretty much unheard of for women at the time. But it was becoming more unusual for patients in general because of changes in the medical profession.”

 

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