Wednesday, June 20, 2007

my new favorite person in the whole wide world

Everyone, I'd like you to meet my new favoritest person in the whole world: my sister-in-law, Sherise.


That's her on the right, obviously.

Sherise lives about 45 minutes away from us, and has four very active children between the ages of 10 and 2. Yesterday, she called to ask if I'd like to send my kids to her house to play sometime so I could work on my research. (Is that a trick question?) Yes, I would love to send them off for the day. So she picked up Link and Peach this morning and took them back to her house to play with their cousins, and I went to campus and read a book about the cultural history of medicine in seventeenth-century England. Apparently things went well at Aunt Sherise's house, because when I went to fetch the kids, Peach announced that she didn't want to go home. So everyone had a good day, and Sherise is my new Bestest Friend of All.

The book I read was Roy Porter and Dorothy Porter's In Sickness and in Health: The British Experience 1650-1850. It was fascinating. No, I mean it! Really interesting stuff. It talks about British attitudes toward health and health practices, including hypochondria, and it described a fascination with preserving health by regulating every action, every day, that sounded an awful lot like Mr. Woodhouse in Austen's Emma.

6 comments:

Heidi said...

And is there any question where Jane Austen got her ideas? From the book, of course! LOL. Hey, I've been shadowing a romantics class this term (that means following a teacher around so I can possibly teach myself someday here in York. Haha. They don't even have enough teaching for all the professors... *sigh*) Anyway, it's been quite fun, and I got to do some group tutorials last week, and and and... I'm reading loads of 18th century poetry I've never really looked at before, being a medievalist... :) Basically, I'm saying that I believe you when you say it's fascinating! Hey, you should digress slightly and see whether Anglo-Saxon medical practises have any bearing on 19th century medical practises... I don't have time. :-D

Nicole said...

and here i thought from the title of your post that it was going to be about me. dangit.

oh and i can tell (if i didn't already know) that i am a touch on the nerdy side because that book sounds fascinating.

Octavia said...

@ nicole: ooh, sorry. If you like, I can bestow upon you the honorary title of "My Favorite Person in the Whole Wide World Prior to Last Tuesday."

Although I think we all know, realistically, that Glen is my favorite. Sorry, Sherise.

Octavia said...

@heidi: the Anglo Saxons had medical practices? Also, it's funny to think of you teaching Romanticism - it'd be like me teaching Medieval stuff. I mean, I'm sure you'd be good at it, it just seems ... odd.

Heidi said...

Hehe... what do you think the charms were? Lots of them regarded various strange medical practises... And hey, I'll have you know that the prof sat in on one of the the tutorials I taught and said I did a super job! Well... it WAS Blake, and I DID have a picture book. :) And knew enough of what was going on in the time period to fake it through some things... and it WAS a close reading class, so it's not like I had to know loads of history, and I DID take a Scottish Enligtenment course at the Zoo... and a Victorian class as well... So I'm not TOTALLY out of the loop... :) Enough ellipses?

Octavia said...

Hey - you spelled "practises" the English way!

Blake is so much fun - please tell me you told your student(s) the story about the naked reading of "Paradise Lost" in Blake's yard.