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Title: The blind in later Medieval England : medical, social and religious responses
Author: Hawkins, Joy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 2128
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2011
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This interdisciplinary project brings together sources from a wide range of disciplines (including medicine, literature and art history) to demonstrate that ophthalmic complaints were among the most common ailments experienced by English men, women and children during the later Middle Ages and to examine how individuals coped with severe eye injuries and diseases on a daily basis. My doctoral thesis seeks to explore the medical, social and religious responses to the blind in later medieval England. The first section of this study investigates the various aspects of daily life which proved detrimental to the eyesight; the second part examines medical responses to these problems and explores the wide-range of physical therapies available, which could be tailored to suit all pockets; and the third co~siders the options available if medical treatment proved impossible or unsuccessful. The fortunate few found accommodation in hospitals and almshouses run by monastic orders and lay fraternities; many others chose to embark on long journeys to shrines and other holy sites to seek help from God and his saints. This thesis will also examine the two apparently contradictory theological explanations for blindness during the Middle Ages: was it bestowed by a loving and benevolent God to protect his children from further sin and temptation, or was it an outward sign of a sinful soul?
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available