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Dr Leah Astbury

Dr Leah Astbury

Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow

Early modern medicine; history of reproduction; history of the body; domestic medicine; the family; gender


Leah Astbury is a Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and a Junior Research Fellow at Darwin College. She joined the Department in 2012 as a PhD student as part of the Generation to Reproduction project. Her thesis, 'Breeding Women and Lusty Infants in Seventeenth-Century England', was awarded in 2016 and examined the experience of pregnancy, childbirth and afterbirth care. Since, she has held fellowships from the Society for Renaissance Studies, The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH) and was the 2018–19 Molina Fellowship in History of Medicine and the Allied Sciences at the Huntington Library, San Marino.

Her current project interrogates the complex relationship between marriage and health in early modern England.

Dr Leah Astbury on the Department of HPS website


History and Philosophy of Science:
Early modern medicine, history of reproduction, history of the body

Key Publications

Leah Astbury, 'Being Well, Looking Ill: Childbirth and the Return to Health in Seventeenth-Century England', Social History of Medicine 30/3 (2017), 500–519.

Leah Astbury, '"Ordering the Infant": Caring for Newborns in Early Modern England', in Sandra Cavallo and Tessa Storey (eds.), Conserving Health in Early Modern Culture: Bodies and Environments in Italy and England (Manchester University Press, 2017), pp.80–103.