Alun Withey is an academic historian of early-modern medicine and the body at the University of Exeter. Aside from exploring the weird and wonderful world of seventeenth-century medical remedies, and practitioners, his other research looks at the history of beards and shaving over the past 300 years! In 2016, Alun spoke on the hirsute history of facial hair at the Florence Nightingale Museum and was consulted on the diminishing popularity of the hipster beard.
In 2013, Alun’s book Physick and the Family was published, and his next book, Technology, Self-Fashioning and Politeness in Eighteenth-Century Britain, followed in 2015.
Alun is a 2014 AHRC/BBC ‘New Generation Thinker’ and has appeared on a variety of television and radio programmes, including regular appearances on Cerys Matthews’ popular BBC6 Music radio show. Away from his work Alun is a keen guitarist, and a fair-weather golfer.
Listen to him talk about beards and whiskers here.
TECHNOLOGY, SELF-FASHIONING AND POLITENESS IN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY BRITAIN: REFINED BODIES – buy it here
This innovative book explores the role of cast steel in instruments for refining the body in the eighteenth century, amidst the changing climate of ideas surrounding ‘polite’ bodily form and appearance
PUBLISHER: Palgrave Pivot
PUBLICATION DATE: 4th December 2015
PHYSICK AND THE FAMILY: HEALTH, MEDICINE AND CARE IN WALES, 1600-1750 – buy it here
Now available in paperback, this volume introduces a wide range of largely unexplored sources to the history of medicine Addresses a number of current key themes in medical history, including patient narratives, domestic medicine and the medical marketplace Employs innovative methodologies and source materials to address hitherto overlooked topics, including care of the sick, medical material culture and poor relief for the sick Adds a new and alternative rural dimension to existing medical studies of Britain and Europe. Its multi-disciplinary methodology, broad scope and range of exciting new research makes it a must for academics and students of medical and social history alike.
PUBLISHER: Manchester University Press
PUBLICATION DATE: 31st August 2013