By Laura Linker (auth.)
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Additional resources for Lucretian Thought in Late Stuart England: Debates about the Nature of the Soul
2 Frequently diagnosed with the condition, women were believed to experience bouts of hysteria periodically if they suffered from heartbreak, grieved for a loved one, or had a baby. 3 Even leading physicians endorsed the view that women were considered more susceptible to lovesickness than men were and more likely to lose their reason. William Harvey, who discovered blood circulation in 1616, endorsed hysteria, his examination of cases of hysteria in women in his On Parturition (1651) reinforcing the ancient view of the traveling womb in search of moisture.
For men often behave as though blinded by love and credit the beloved with charms to which she has no valid title. This is why we see foul and disgusting women basking in a lover’s adoration! 1151–6) The soldier appears to follow Lucretius’s description in his treatment of the matron. His rage is turned against her. Charleton does not endorse this misogynistic view, however, upholding the “pious Matron” (89). The matron saves the soldier, calming him as she tearfully pleads with him to cast off thoughts of suicide and devises a plot to conceal the crime of the stolen criminal’s body.
1057/9781137399885. 1057/9781137399885 27 28 Lucretian Thought in Late Stuart England Charleton’s The Ephesian Matron is unusual among early amatory plots for its long digressions about the dual souls and animal spirits, but it anticipates the medicophilosophical language and ideas that began to emerge in literature after 1660. As Charles II took an active interest in the sciences and newly formed Royal Society, Restoration writers increasingly looked to Charleton’s amatory narrative and theories about the senses for their libertine texts.
Lucretian Thought in Late Stuart England: Debates about the Nature of the Soul by Laura Linker (auth.)