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Medieval Studies / History of Medicine / Pharmacology


Healing and Society in Medieval England
A Middle English Translation of the Pharmaceutical Writings of Gilbertus Anglicus
Edited by Faye Marie Getz

“A book that will continue to be consulted for a very long time and will be of as much interest to medical historians as to scholars of Middle English.”
—Peter Murray Jones, Bulletin of the History of Medicine

Originally composed in Latin by Gilbertus Anglicus (Gilbert the Englishman), his Compendium of Medicine was a primary text of the medical revolution in thirteenth-century Europe. Composed mainly of medicinal recipes, it offered advice on diagnosis, medicinal preparation, and prognosis. In the fifteenth century it was translated into Middle English to accommodate a widening audience for learning and medical “secrets.”

Faye Marie Getz provides a critical edition of the Middle English text, with an extensive introduction to the learned, practical, and social components of medieval medicine and a summary of the text in modern English. Getz also draws on both the Latin and Middle English texts to create an extensive glossary of little-known Middle English pharmaceutical and medical vocabulary.

Faye Marie Getz lives in Norfolk, England, and has honorary academic appointments in the history and philosophy of science at the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London. She appeared as a medieval physician in Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives, an Emmy-nominated BBC documentary.

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Healing and Society in Medieval England

December 2010

LC: 90-050643 R
456 pp.   7 x 9

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Paper $19.95
ISBN 978-0-299-12934-7
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The cloth edition of this title, ISBN 978-0-299-12930-9 is out of print.

“[This] edition places in our hands a medical book that looks two ways: toward the
massive Latin compilation of Gilbertus, whose rhetoric of medicine comes through surprisingly unfiltered, and toward the ‘practices’ of medicine mediated in English during the fifteenth century.”
—Lea Olsan, Studies in the Age of Chaucer

• Replaces 1991 hardcover, UWP, 978-0-299-12930-9

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