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My Life’s Travels and Adventures: An Eighteenth-Century Oculist in the Ottoman Empire and the European Hinterland Coming Soon

In her never-finished My Life’s Travels and Adventures, the eighteenth-century Polish doctor Regina Salomea Pilsztynowa plays a myriad of roles, including child bride, wife, mother, lover, adventuress, slave trader, writer, and home-taught physician. She successfully carved out a viable niche for herself, navigating the multicultural, multiethnic, and varied religious environment of Europe’s eastern periphery. Despite limited expectations for female professionals, she became a highly sought after and well-respected practitioner of the medical arts and rose to the position of court physician to Turkish pashas and Hungarian princes, and even to Sultan Mustafa III. My Life’s Travels and Adventures—part memoir, part autobiography, and part travelogue—provides a view into eighteenth-century social, professional, and gender interactions and weaves a rich narrative replete with vignettes of love, travel, and popular superstitions important to our historical, ethnographic, and religious understanding of the era. This edition brings the entirety of this personal and idiosyncratic memoir to English for the first time.

“Thanks entirely to the discovery of her lost memoir at the end of the nineteenth century, Regina Salomea Pilsztynowa enjoys the reputation of being the first female doctor in Polish history. And how all this came about is a fascinating story, vividly conveyed in Roczniak’s tour-de-force translation. . . . Pilsztynowa’s compelling story as told in this splendid critical edition is worthy of her legacy.”
- Barry Keane, University of Warsaw

Władysław Roczniak is Professor of History at Bronx Community College, CUNY. He is author of A History of Hospitals in Pre-Modern Poland from the Twelfth through the Eighteenth Century (2009), as well as articles on the Reformation, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, poverty and poor relief, and the Thirty Years’ War.

In her never-finished My Life’s Travels and Adventures, the eighteenth-century Polish doctor Regina Salomea Pilsztynowa plays a myriad of roles, including child bride, wife, mother, lover, adventuress, slave trader, writer, and home-taught physician. She successfully carved out a viable niche for herself, navigating the multicultural, multiethnic, and varied religious environment of Europe’s eastern periphery. Despite limited expectations for female professionals, she became a highly sought after and well-respected practitioner of the medical arts and rose to the position of court physicia...

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book Details

  • Page Count:

    305 pages

  • Publication Year:

    2020

  • Publisher:

    Iter Press
  • Series:

    • The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series 78

Print

USD$ 53.95 ISBN 978-1-64959-004-6 Order Print Book
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