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Women's Epistolary Networks, 1600-1700: Ireland and Beyond

Women, Medicine, and Health

The Boyle women's letters show how they used the correspondence network to share and to expand their knowledge of traditional herbal cures and the latest medicinal practices. The letters further reveal how the women responded to illness both within and outside of the family: by assuming the role of carer; by seeking alternative sources of expertise; by procuring remedies; by offering emotional support; and, sometimes by acting as proxy for those who were incapacitated.