Author Janice P. Nimura’s new book, The Doctors Blackwell tells the story of “How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women – and Women to Medicine.” The dual biography follows the lives of Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell, two of the first female doctors in America. The newly released nonfiction book has garnered rave reviews from The New York Times, NPR, and The New Yorker. This evening, you can join Untapped New York and author Janice P. Nimura for a virtual book talk about her latest hit release!
The author with a Blackwell descendant outside the building which once housed the Blackwell’s Infirmary
To tell the Blackwells’ stories, Nimura pored over their personal diaries and letters as well as archives of historical materials. The book includes photographs, diagrams, and documents that bring the Blackwell story to life. Nimura’s book follows the Blackwells all over the world, from their births in England to schooling in upstate New York and Paris, and their groundbreaking work in New York City. Together, the Blackwell sisters founded the first hospital staffed entirely by women, but it wasn’t easy. In the 19th-century, the idea of a female doctor was unheard of, but Elizabeth Blackwell persisted, undaunted. In 1849, she became the first woman in America to receive a Medical Degree. Her sister followed in 1854, becoming the third woman to receive an MD. “I am convinced that a new and nobler era is dawning, for Medicine,” Elizabeth wrote after graduating.
Elizabeth Blackwell, Courtesy of Library of Congress
Both sisters were tenacious and visionary, but their convictions did not always align with the emergence of women’s rights―or with each other. “Doubt is disease,” Elizabeth insisted. They prevailed against fierce resistance from the male establishment during a tumultuous time of scientific discovery and civil war. This major new biography celebrates two complicated pioneers who exploded the limits of possibility. As Elizabeth predicted, “a hundred years hence, women will not be what they are now.”
Join us tonight at 6PM ET to sit down with author Janice P. Nimura and discuss the lives of the Blackwell sisters in a virtual book talk. This live event is free for Untapped New York Insiders! Become a member today starting at just $10/month.
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Virtual Book Talk: The Doctor’s Blackwell, A Book on America’s First Female Doctor