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Title: Master John Hall's little book of cures : a critical edition
Author: Wells, Laurence Gregory
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 8397
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis presents a critical edition of John Hall’s casebook (composed around 1634-1635) and commentaries on aspects of it. My research involved close reading of Hall’s Latin, and its translation into English. In the process it became apparent that Hall had made considerable use of unattributed borrowings from Latin medical books, making up between thirty and forty per cent of his text. These were mostly identified by detailed word searches of on-line databases. This is a use of medical texts not previously noted, and makes a clear connexion between Latin medical texts and routine medical practice. The thesis is presented in four sections, plus introduction and conclusion. The first section, the Background, gives the history of Hall’s manuscript from its composition in 1634-35 to its acquisition by the British Library. It sets out the reasons for producing a new translation, the editorial principles and practice followed, and some medical themes running through Hall’s case reports. Section two contains the critical edition itself, with parallel Latin and English texts. Footnotes to the Latin text give the sources of all of Hall’s borrowings from and references to medical and other texts. The third section (Chapter 1) analyses the process and results of identifying Hall’s working library, of forty-three authors and sixty titles, from his borrowings. It puts his library in the early modern medical context in terms of its contents and categories of composition. I show that there were changes in the books Hall acquired over time, from those suitable for a student through to his later interests in chymical practice and the diagnosis of scurvy. Despite these changes, he continued to rely on old familiar texts for most of his remedies throughout his life. The fourth section (Chapter 2) examines Hall’s manuscript in the context of casebooks generally. It differs from the majority of casebooks, the differences being explained by its composition as the draft for a book to be published. It shows that a casebook can have an internal structure related to the chronologies of its composition and the cases it draws on. This thesis demonstrates the importance of Latin sources in at least one medical casebook of the early seventeenth century. I show that borrowings such as Hall’s were not unique even if rarer in other texts. The possibility of a Latin textual source should be considered for any Latin text in a casebook of that period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: R Medicine (General)