Visualizing Household Health: Medieval Women, Art, and Knowledge in the Régime Du Corps (Hardcover)

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Visualizing Household Health: Medieval Women, Art, and Knowledge in the Régime Du Corps By Jennifer Borland Cover Image
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In 1256, the countess of Provence, Beatrice of Savoy, enlisted her personal physician to create a health handbook to share with her daughters. Written in French and known as the R gime du corps, this health guide would become popular and influential, with nearly seventy surviving copies made over the next two hundred years and translations in at least four other languages. In Visualizing Household Health, art historian Jennifer Borland uses the R gime to show how gender and health care converged within the medieval household.

Visualizing Household Health explores the nature of the households portrayed in the R gime and how their members interacted with professionalized medicine. Borland focuses on several illustrated versions of the manuscript that contain historiated initials depicting simple scenes related to health care, such as patients' consultations with physicians, procedures like bloodletting, and foods and beverages recommended for good health. Borland argues that these images provide important details about the nature of women's agency in the home--and offer highly compelling evidence that women enacted multiple types of health care. Additionally, she contends, the R gime opens a window onto the history of medieval women as owners, patrons, and readers of books.

Interdisciplinary in scope, this book broadens notions of the medieval medical community and the role of women in medieval health care. It will be welcomed by scholars and students of women's history, art history, book history, and the history of medicine.

About the Author

Jennifer Borland is Professor of Art History and Director of the Humanities Initiative at Oklahoma State University. She is a founding member of the Material Collective and managing editor of the journal Different Visions.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780271090597
ISBN-10: 0271090596
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Publication Date: February 21st, 2022
Pages: 219
Language: English