The Excellent Doctor Blackwell: The Life of the First Woman Physician


The Excellent Doctor Blackwell: The Life of the First Woman Physician by Julia Boyd

Synopsis: When British-born Elizabeth Blackwell earned her medical degree in America in 1849 there was an international outcry. Few at the time would have disagreed with the actress Fanny Kemble’s remark – “What, trust a woman doctor – never!”

Yet by the time Dr Blackwell died in 1910 there were hundreds of women practising medicine on both sides of the Atlantic, thanks in no small part to her courage and determination.

This is a remarkable story, and one by no means confined to medicine. It embraces slavery, the women’s rights movement, the American Civil War and Elizabeth’s personal tragedy (she lost an eye in Paris) – as well as a fascinating cast of characters from Abraham Lincoln to Florence Nightingale.

Using a treasure trove of primary sources, the book reveals how Elizabeth Blackwell’s pioneering efforts helped to fundamentally change the status of women in the West.

First Published: January 2006 | ISBN-13: 978-0750941402

Elizabeth Blackwell was a British-born medical practitioner, notable as the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, as well as the first woman on the UK Medical Register. She was the first woman to graduate from medical school, a pioneer in promoting the education of women in medicine in the United States, and a social and moral reformer in both the United States and in the United Kingdom. Wikipedia

Mini-bio: Julia Boyd worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum before accompanying her diplomat husband on various foreign postings. She has published a number of books including Hannah Riddell: An Englishwoman in Japan, and more recently A Dance with the Dragon: the Vanished World of Peking’s Foreign Colony. – Thistle Publishing

New England Journal of Medicine Book Review
The Guardian Book Review
Victorian Geek Book Review

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