Revolting Remedies from the Middle Ages

wakelin revolting remedies

This is a collection of revolting remedies for medical problems from the fifteenth century. They are printed in Middle English with facing translations into modern English. The remedies were gathered from manuscripts in the Bodleian Library. Two thirds were gathered by students Hannah Bower, Cosima Gillhammer, Justine Gomes, Annaliese Griffiss, Paoula Sobanda, Anneli Strutt and Sian Witherden; Professor Wakelin collected the rest and translated them all. The students took his course, part of the Faculty’s MSt in English 650-1550, which teaches people to handle and read manuscripts from the seventh to the sixteenth centuries. They had tested their research skills on these medical manuscripts: the handwriting and the medical terms are a challenge. But having sat in the library pained by this work, they came back cured by laughter at the rude or remarkable remedies they found. They hope, now that they’ve transcribed and translated them, that you will enjoy them too.

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