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Pestilence in Medieval & Early Modern English Literature
This book examines three diseases - leprosy, bubonic plague and syphillis - to show how doctors, priests and literary authors from the Middle Ages and through the Renaissance interpreted certain illnesses through a moral filter. Lacking knowledge about the transmission of contagious diseases, doctors and priests saw epidemic diseases as a punishment sent by God for human ...more
Hardcover, 206 pages
Published December 1st 2003 by Routledge
(first published November 2003)
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Grigsby’s contention that society’s attitudes toward infectious disease evolve and that the evolution is reflected in imaginative literature makes sense, but his links between medieval and early modern views of leprosy, bubonic plague, and syphilis and modern views of AIDS and SARS suffer from a lack of modern literary examples. He insists that authors in the Middle Ages and Renaissance “used” their works to “disseminate” medical information in ways that modern society would not expect in ...more
A helpful book, for me, especially regarding the relationship between medical and literary discourses in medieval England. But its writing is not always as strong as I would like, nor is BLG's thinking always as crisp and complex as, say, Gilman's in the stunning _Plague Writing in Early Modern England_.