Leah Astbury: Postdoctoral Fellow (2016-17)

Dr Leah Astbury completed her PhD in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University. Her project is entitled Marriage, Health and Compatibility in Early Modern England.


Leah's research as a postdoctoral fellow will investigate the relationship between marital harmony and health in early modern England.  Spouses promised to care for one another 'in sickness and in health', a duty that was further inscribed in conduct literature of the period. Drawing on correspondence, diaries and spiritual meditations of middling and upper sort seventeenth-century families, Leah's research considers how health was a collective responsibility and experience. Familial discord could have an adverse effect on the emotional and bodily wellbeing of its members. This project builds on Leah's recently completed PhD, 'Breeding Women and Lusty Infants in Seventeenth-Century England' (University of Cambridge, 2015), which examined the experience of pregnancy, childbirth and afterbirth care.