This groundbreaking study explores the role of those involved in various aspects of the care, comfort and appearance of the body in seventeenth and early eighteenth-century Italy, bringing to light the strong cultural affinities and social ties between barber-surgeons and the apparently distant trades of jeweller, tailor, wigmaker and upholsterer.
Drawing on contemporary understandings of the body, the author shows that shared concerns about health and well-being permeated the professional cultures of these medical and non-medical occupations.
At the same time the detailed analysis of the life-course, career patterns and family experience of 'artisans of the body' offers unprecedented insight into the world of the urban middling sorts.
The book will represent essential reading for scholars and students of gender, family and urban history in the early modern age, and will equally appeal to historians of the body and of the medical occupations. -- .