Furdell, Elizabeth Lane 1944–

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Furdell, Elizabeth Lane 1944–

PERSONAL:

Born April 13, 1944, in Harrisburg, PA; daughter of Lionel K. (in business) and Helen M. (a medical secretary) Lane; married William J. Furdell, 1968 (divorced, 1983); married Theo Prousis (a professor), 1990; children: James, Andrew. Ethnicity: "White." Education: University of Washington, B.A., 1966; Kent State University, M.A., 1968, Ph.D., 1973. Politics: Democrat. Religion: "Non-practicing Catholic."

ADDRESSES:

Home—Jacksonville, FL. Office—Department of History, University of North Florida, 1 UNF Dr., Jacksonville, FL 32224-7699. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

University of Great Falls, Great Falls, MT, assistant professor, became associate professor, 1971-83, faculty president, 1981-83; University of North Florida, Jacksonville, professor of history, 1983—. University of London, Institute for Historical Research, research associate, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991.

MEMBER:

American Historical Association, American Political Science Association, American Fellowships Committee, American Association of University Women, Southern Association of Women Historians.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Distinguished Professor Award, University of North Florida, 2002; Wellcome Trust travel grant, 2004; Outstanding Scholarship Award, University of North Florida, 2006.

WRITINGS:

(With William J. Furdell) Great Falls: A Pictorial History, Donning (Norfolk, VA), 1987.

James Welwood: Physician to the Glorious Revolution, Combined Publishing (Conshohocken, PA), 1998.

The Royal Doctors, 1485-1714: Medical Personnel at the Tudor and Stuart Courts, University of Rochester Press (Rochester, NY), 2001.

Publishing and Medicine in Early Modern England, University of Rochester Press (Rochester, NY), 2002.

(Editor) Textual Healing: Essays on Medieval and Early Modern Medicine, Brill (Boston, MA), 2005.

Fatal Thirst: Diabetes in Britain before Insulin, Brill (Boston, MA), 2008.

Contributor to The Historical Dictionary of Stuart England, edited by Ronald Fritze and William Robison, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1996; The Historical Dictionary of the British Empire, edited by James S. Olson, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1996; The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2004. Author of numerous articles for academic publications, including the Journal of Medical Biography, Historian, International Journal of the Book, and European Studies Journal.

SIDELIGHTS:

Elizabeth Lane Furdell is a professor of history whose books focus on the medical profession in early modern England. In James Welwood: Physician to the Glorious Revolution, Furdell presents a biography of the Scottish doctor who served as the head physician for the 1688 revolution in which William of Orange overthrew King James II and ascended the throne as William III. She traces Welwood's childhood in Scotland during an era prone to witch hunts (which helped shaped his religious tolerance), and his years in studying medicine in France, to his growing political involvement in Newcastle, where he opened his medical practice.

By the late seventeenth century, Welwood had published numerous works that outlined his political ideas and detailed his Whig interpretation of historical events, which Furdell believes became the foundation for all Whigs who followed. Beyond politics, Welwood was active in trying to modernize medicine in Britain. Overall, the book "is a smooth and entertaining read," according to a review in Albion by Melinda Zook, and Dorothy Bundy Potter called Furdell's writing "graceful" in a review for History: Review of New Books, concluding that "fondness for her subject does not lead to glossing over his partisan politics and contempt for Catholicism."

In Publishing and Medicine in Early Modern England, Furdell describes orthodox physicians and irregular practitioners (barbers, midwives, and apothecaries), and how medical books impacted the way medicine was addressed in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. She finds that medical books were read avidly by both doctors and laypeople alike, and promoted by a publishing industry motivated solely by economic gain. A flourishing book trade coupled with an absence of government regulation created a marketplace that promoted consumerism in medicine. Ultimately, Furdell claims, the widespread availability of medical books undermined physicians' expertise, and even the Royal College of Physicians suffered a decline in prestige. She is especially interested in the role women played, both in publishing and retail, in disseminating knowledge that could be used in the home to alleviate the standard family ills. Both "historians of the book" and "historians of medicine," wrote Vivian Nutton in the English Historical Review, "will benefit from the way in which disparate material has been carefully and clearly brought together."

The Royal Doctors, 1485-1714: Medical Personnel at the Tudor and Stuart Courts is "an excellent and rewarding piece of work," according to William Birken in a review for Albion. It includes information on nearly every individual who had contact with the Tudor and Stuart courts, from perfumers to embalmers to apothecaries. Apart from their medical knowledge, physicians were valuable to rulers in political matters and esteemed for their general intellectual knowledge. Most physicians received their education in Europe, which made them more attuned to international events and perspectives than many of their countrymen. Many of these doctors were valued for their literary and musical abilities and were key players in the scientific revolution. Though Birken believed "more might have been made of the Crown's traditional weakness for quackery and alternative methods of healing, which continues to exist in the current Royal Family's preference for homeopathic medicine," he concluded that the book "remains an intelligent, informative, and vastly entertaining study, and a valuable contribution to English history."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Albion, January, 2000, Melinda Zook, review of James Welwood: Physician to the Glorious Revolution; winter, 2002, William Birken, review of The Royal Doctors, 1485-1714: Medical Personnel at the Tudor and Stuart Courts, p. 642; spring, 2004, Buchanan Sharp, review of Publishing and Medicine in Early Modern England, p. 127; November, 2004, Lisa Wynne Smith, review of Publishing and Medicine in Early Modern England.

American Historical Review, December, 2004, Barbara Howard Traister, review of Publishing and Medicine in Early Modern England, p. 1640.

Choice, September, 1999, W.B. Robinson III, review of James Welwood, p. 221.

English Historical Review, September, 2002, Patrick Wallis, review of The Royal Doctors, 1485- 1714, p. 988; April, 2004, Vivian Nutton, review of Publishing and Medicine in Early Modern England, p. 512.

History: Review of New Books, winter, 2000, Dorothy Bundy Potter, review of James Welwood, p. 62.

Renaissance Quarterly, summer, 2004, Elizabeth D. Harvey, review of Publishing and Medicine in Early Modern England, p. 719.