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Helen Esfandiary

Dr Helen Esfandiary

Lecturer (HPL) in Early Modern History


Dr Esfandiary received her Doctor of Philosophy in History from King’s College London. She is a cultural and social historian of the body, medicine, and gender - in particular children's bodies. Her PhD thesis ’Maternal Perspectives on Rearing Healthy Children in Elite Georgian Society’ was a reappraisal of domestic child-rearing practices - from birth through adolescence - through the lens of elite Georgian mothers’ ideas about bodies, disease, medicine, and gender in the pre-modern age. 

Dr Esfandiary has taught at King's College London and the University of Roehampton.

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • The body, sex, and gender
  • Domestic medicine
  • Family, parenting, and childhood
  • The lifecycle
  • Pain and the emotions

Selected publications 

‘‘A thankless enterprise’: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's campaign to establish medical unorthodoxy amongst her female network,’ Notes and Records, The Royal Society Journal for the History of Science, 2022.

‘‘We could not answer to ourselves not doing it’: Maternal obligations and knowledge of smallpox inoculation in eighteenth‐century elite society.’ Historical Research: The Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 92 (2019): 754-770


Early Modern World History, History of Medicine, History of Parenting and Childhood.