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Masculinity and medicine: Thomas Walsingham and the death of the Black Prince

Masculinity and medicine: Thomas Walsingham and the death of the Black Prince

By David Green

Journal of Medieval History, Vol. 35:1 (2009)

Abstract: This article examines the nature of the illness that plagued Edward the Black Prince (1330–76) for the last nine years of his life and caused his death. The prince’s premature death had profound political repercussions and a discussion of his symptoms provides a lens through which to examine late medieval attitudes to a wide range of social, religious and medical issues. The prince’s symptoms, especially those described by Thomas Walsingham in his Chronica maiora, suggest traditional explanations of his death are incorrect. This article offers a number of varied but connected medieval and symbolic interpretations as well as a consideration of methodologies appropriate for analysing such material.

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