Does Nature Always Heal? Perspectives from a Naturalist with Tuberculosis

Jessica Kirwan // Despite periods of poor health, and despite many moves, Emily Shore always kept loyal to her interest in the study of nature, and her talents as a naturalist did not diminish as her health worsened. In fact, she became increasingly interested in how her body’s response to the natural world improved her…

The Medical Woman in Victorian Fiction and Her Service to the Empire

Jessica Kirwan // At the end of the nineteenth century, the medical woman was simultaneously progressive and traditional. As one of the first women professionals she helped elevate the importance of women to healthcare, and her distinctly feminine qualities helped her save lives. Perhaps most importantly, however, she helped promote the British Empire.

The New Woman Doctor in Sydney C. Grier’s Peace with Honour

The path from scholarship on male doctors in Victorian literature to that of women doctors was a somewhat circuitous one, the road having been laid more as a result of a growing interest in the fin-de-siècle New Woman than in literary representations of medical professionals in fiction or symbolic representations of anxieties about disease.

Reimagining the Queer Life of Dr. James Barry

Jessica M. E. Kirwan Often called the first woman doctor, James Barry lived a mysterious life. Yet to suggest, as many have, that he should be remembered as a woman who cross-dressed to pursue a career in medicine mischaracterizes him and diminishes the complexity of his life.