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Jinner, Sarah (fl. 1658–1664), compiler of almanacs and medical practitioner, has left no trace of her family or background and is known only through the pioneering series of almanacs she published from 1658 to 1664, aimed mainly at women. Her woodcut portrait depicts an elegantly dressed figure, and her style indicates that she was well educated and aiming at a respectable audience. The almanacs are distinctive for their spirited assertion of women's abilities, their frank treatment of female medical problems, and their combative observations on contemporary politics. Acknowledging in her first edition that readers 'may wonder to see one of our Sex in print, especially in the Celestial Sciences' (...

Article

Patridge, Dorothy (fl. 1694), midwife and student in astrology, is a shadowy and perhaps fictitious person known only from The Woman's Almanack, for the Year 1694. The title page, illustrated with a crude woodcut of the author, explained that the work contained 'many choice, useful, pleasant, and most necessary Observations; adapted to the Capacity of the Female Sex, and not to be found in other Almanacks'. Despite the title it contained no calendar or astronomical data, offering instead monthly advice on health and husbandry, with tips on how to predict the weather, harvest, and the healthiness of the season. These included predictions based on the day on which new year's day fell, critical days in diseases, and weather lore based on the behaviour of birds and animals. Many of the monthly observations concerned sexual matters, such as the note for April: 'This Month Venus is very rampant; get a lusty Husband, least worse befal the' (...