The Birth of Mankind

Cover copyright Ashgate Publishers 2009.

In 1540 a book was published which was to become one of the biggest commercial successes of its era:  The Birth of Mankind: Otherwise Named, The Woman’s Book. Fast forward a few centuries and Elaine Hobby, Loughborough University’s own Head of Department for English & Drama, has just released a freshly revised and annotated version of the 1560 edition.

Primarily concerning every aspect of human reproduction, fertility, pregnancy, birth and child care, written in English, as opposed to the usual Latin, the book struck an instant chord and was required reading in English society across all the social strata, from common householders to royalty, and all the physicians and scientists of the day.

You can find a more in-depth article and interview with Elaine Hobby on the University Research page’s online journal The View here, and there’s an excellent review of the book at the British Society of Literature & Science web-page here. The Library has two copies on order which should be on the shelves soon.