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Title: The regimen in late medieval England
Author: Hardingham, G. J.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis examines the nature and uses of the regimen in the fourteenth and fifteenth century in England. The introduction discusses the historiography of the regimen primarily through a delineation of the genre. It argues that the usual focus of the regimen of health and its characterization as a medical text is too narrow, proposing that the text, in both its form and use, was a text on guidance of body and soul that can not be separated from other works of political governance, ethical behaviour and spiritual advice. In order to establish the subject, chapter one presents a distillation of multiple dietaries structured as a daily regimen. The second chapter deals with medical regimens – those books of advice on health usually written by doctors – written, translated or transcribed in late medieval England. It works as a survey and discussion of the contents, composition and audience of texts ranging from calendrical regimens and the classic epistolary dietary, to plague tracts, works resembling political begging letters and the widespread universal regimen. Chapter three investigates the links between the regimen and the institutional regimens practiced in English hospitals, religious houses and noble households, to argue that all texts on rule share similar concerns with health, both of the body and of the spirit (corporate and individual). The final chapter uses John Lydgate’s popular Dietary as a means to discuss the regimen’s central place in the literature of the fifteenth century. Among its roles was that of a handbook for the fifteenth century reader, a guide to ethical behaviour in the social environment not dissimilar to the courtesy books; while a focus on early printed books reveals the regimen’s influence on the vernacular religious text. This is followed by a handlist of regimens written, translated or used in late medieval England.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available