Leprosy in Medieval England
Set firmly in the medical, religious and cultural milieu of the European Middle Ages, this book is the first serious academic study of a disease surrounded by misconceptions and prejudices. Even specialists will be surprised to learn that most of our stereotyped ideas about the segregation of medieval lepers originated in the nineteenth century; that leprosy excited a vast range of responses, from admiration to revulsion; that in the later Middle Ages it was diagnosed readily even by laity; that a wide range of treatment was available, that medieval leper hospitals were no more austere than the monasteries on which they were modelled; that the decline of leprosy was not monocausal but implied a complex web of factors - medical, environmental, social and legal. Carole Rawcliffe writes with consummate skill, subtlety and rigour; her book will change forever the image of the medieval leper. CAROLE RAWCLIFFE is Professor of Medieval History at the University of East Anglia.
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