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For over two thousand years, attitudes to the menopause have created dread, shame and confusion. This meticulously researched and always entertaining book traces the history of 'the change of life' from its appearance in classical texts, to the medical literature of the 18th century, to up-to-the-minute contemporary clinical approaches. Its progression from natural phenomenon to full-blown pathological condition from the 1700s led to bizarre treatments and often dangerous surgery, and formalized a misogyny which lingers in the treatment of menopausal women today.
Louise Foxcroft delves into the archives, the boudoir and the Gladstone bag to reveal the elements that formed the menopause myth: chauvinism, collusion, trial, error and secrecy. She challenges us to rethink absurd assumptions that have persisted through history - that sex stops at the menopause, or that ageing should be feared. It redresses the myths and captures the truths about menopause.
Louise Foxcroft has a PhD in the History of Medicine from the University of Cambridge. Her first book, The Making of Addiction: The 'Use and Abuse' of Opium in nineteenth-century Britain, was published by Ashgate. She writes for the Guardian and the London Review of Books and is a Non-Alcoholic Trustee on the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, working on AA literature and archive materials.