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.
'Lively and well researched' Literary Review 'Hot Flushes, Cold Science is a serious book, packed full of the thought-provoking information you never come across - read this book' India Knight, Evening Standard 'Not many Cambridge academics can make you laugh aloud and gasp with shock. Louise Foxcroft does both in a rampaging history of the relationship between doctors and the menopause through three centuries. It's enough to give a septuagenarian bishop hot flushes, believe me' Libby Purves, Mail on Sunday 'Hot Flushes, Cold Science shows how and why the menopause remains a taboo - Liberate yourself from your fears is Foxcroft's final message. Ageing is not a disease and affects both sexes' Observer
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.