Reading Practice

The Pursuit of Natural Knowledge from Manuscript to Print

About the Author

Book cover imageDr. Melissa Reynolds is a cultural historian of medieval and early modern Europe with broad research interests in the history of medicine and science, the history of gender and the body, and the history of material texts. In her research and teaching, she is particularly interested in tracing how elite or learned cultures of medical and scientific knowledge are conveyed to ‘ordinary’ people through non-elite media, and in turn, how access to this knowledge brought about cultural change. Her first book, Reading Practice: The Pursuit of Natural Knowledge from Manuscript to Print, is available for preorder and will be published by the University of Chicago Press in August 2024.

In the Fall of 2024, she will join the history department at TCU as an Assistant Professor of Early Modern European History. She was previously a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Wolf Humanities Center and Lecturer in History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylsvania and the Perkins-Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows and Lecturer in History at Princeton University. Her work has been recognized with fellowships and awards from the American Association for the History of Medicine, the Renaissance Society of America, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Medieval Academy of America, and the Rare Books School at the University of Virginia.

To learn more about her research and read other publications, visit