I am an (award winning!) academic historian of early modern medicine and the body, an AHRC/BBC ‘New Generation Thinker’, and senior lecturer in History at the University of Exeter. I’ve recently completed a  major research project ‘Do Beards Matter?’, funded by a fellowship from the Wellcome Trust, which forms the basis of my new book Concerning Beards: Facial Hair, Health and Practice in England, 1650-1900 (London: Bloomsbury, 2021).

My previous research explored the history of medicine in early modern Wales, and I was an associate research fellow on another Wellcome-funded project ‘The Medical World of England, Ireland and Wales, 1550-1715’, also at Exeter. I’ve been a lecturer in history at Swansea University, where I taught a variety of courses on early modern Britain. Other research interests include medical technologies of the 18th century, and especially razors and shaving and their link to constructions of masculinity and politeness, and the history of the male body more broadly

My second book ‘Technology, Self-Fashioning and Politeness in Eighteenth-Century Britain: Refined Bodies’, was published in December 2015 by Palgrave Macmillan.


Recently, and rather sadly, I’ve discovered that material from this blog has found its way into the pages of certain, national publications, without being credited. Apart from being discourteous it is also a potential breach of my copyright. Therefore:

** Please do not reproduce the content of this blog in print, online or in any other media without permission. The copyright to the material within this blog belongs to the author. any information or quotation taken from it should be acknowledged and published only if prior consent has been given **

p.s. Some people seem to have trouble contacting me so here is my Exeter University email address: A.Withey@exeter.ac.uk

9 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello, I read one of your articles trying to understand what an apothecary actually did. In it was a reference to the ” deed and detail of fines relating to Gabriel Lloyd”. I believe this mn was an ancestor of mine in oswestry, I have struggled to find the reference, and would love to know what he did. Do you know where I might find it, or even have a digitised copy? Thanks in advance for what ever help you can give and sorry for not being the high academic praise the work surely deserves. I did enjoy reading it though.

  2. Dr. Withey,
    I own an archive of three pieces pertaining to Dr. Edward Browne FRS [1644-1708]. It includes a portrait on oak panel done between 1669 and 1703 as well as a stipple engraving of the portrait done in 1801 by Harding. The last piece is a hand written letter blowing off a date to see King William III because he will be on a road trip ! I would like very much to share photos with you and your readers.

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