To know secrets was to be a witch;
it was necessary to know secrets to be a midwife;
therefore a midwife was a witch.
Cunning women, devins-guérisseurs, leveurs de sorts, benandanti, toverdokters, duivelbanners, Kräuterhexen, bean feasa, banfhaidh, curanderos, mulheres de virtude, kloge folk, gumma, old crone.
Histories of naming midwives, female healers and doctors without degrees gives an insight into how these women were viewed. In Scrutiny, Slander and Disdain, we bring together texts and references that relate to the myriad ways that midwives and female healers were controlled, criticized and criminalized.


Dit heel cruydeken is van eene seer vuylen reuck, selfs den bedorven ende verrotten gesauten Visch, ende het stinckende Peekel oft Vischsop, met sijnen moeyelijcken…
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L’erba delle donne

This book contains eleven studies on the history of women in the defense of health, demonstrating how, even if the ruling class has historically used…
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I’m talking about the midwives all, whose heads are empty as a hall, and through their dreadful negligence, cause babies’ deaths devoid of sense. So…
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