Institute of Advanced Study ‘About Time’ Public Lecture Series

Professor Lynn Bothelo, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
‘Keeping Time at Bay:
old age, medicine, and money in early modern England’
1 May 2013, 6.15 – 7.15pm
Kingsley Barrett Room, Calman Learning Centre, Durham University

Abstract: The desire to live forever has a long history in the Western world, from the Greeks to the Anti-Ageing health regimes of today. ‘Keeping Time at Bay’ explores the rise of the elderly in seventeenth-century medical culture, revealing that despite Christian teaching to retire meekly from this world and await the next, the elderly were actively involved in England’s medical market place where money mattered in the pursuit of good health. Botelho takes this story into the present age of expensive and elective medical therapies designed to keep the passage of Time off the faces and bodies of the old. As a result, she predicts that a two-tiered class system of older people will emerge: those who can afford to live a long and healthy life and those who cannot.

Professor Lynn Botelho studied history at the University of Oregon,  and holds her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. She has taught at the University of Essex and Oxford. She is currently a Distinguished Fellow for Research and holds the title University Professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is also a Life Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge. Botelho’s publications include, including collaborative projects: The History of Old Age, 8 vols, printed primary sources (2008, 2009); Age and the English Poor Law, 1500-1700 (2004); Power and Poverty: Old Age in Pre-Industrial Society (2002); Women and Aging in Britain since 1500 (2000); John Winthrop’s Worlds: England and New England, 1588-1649 (2006); and The Churchwardens’ Accounts of Cratfield during the 1640s and 1650s (1999). She also co-guest edited a volume of Medicine and Society on ‘Anti-Aging Movements’ (2009). She is the series Editor of ‘The Body, Gender, and Culture’, a monograph series for Pickering and Chatto Press.

This is the sixth lecture in a series of seven lectures. All are welcome.


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