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The New Middle Ages
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Living with Disfigurement in Early Medieval Europe

Authors: Skinner, Patricia

  • Explores a vastly overlooked area of study within medieval studies
  • Incorporates cutting-edge work within disability studies and the history of emotions
  • Covers a wide expanse of time and different geographical contexts within the period.
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eBook  
  • ISBN 978-1-137-54439-1
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on link.springer.com
Hardcover £20.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-349-95073-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book is open access under a CC-BY 4.0 license. 

This book examines social and medical responses to the disfigured face in early medieval Europe, arguing that the study of head and facial injuries can offer a new contribution to the history of early medieval medicine and culture, as well as exploring the language of violence and social interactions. Despite the prevalence of warfare and conflict in early medieval society, and a veritable industry of medieval historians studying it, there has in fact been very little attention paid to the subject of head wounds and facial damage in the course of war and/or punitive justice. The impact of acquired disfigurement —for the individual, and for her or his family and community—is barely registered, and only recently has there been any attempt to explore the question of how damaged tissue and bone might be treated medically or surgically. In the wake of new work on disability and the emotions in the medieval period, this study documents how acquired disfigurement is recorded across different geographical and chronological contexts in the period.

About the authors

Patricia Skinner is Research Professor in Arts and Humanities at Swansea University, UK. She is the Director of the Effaced from History project, sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, and has previously published books on gender, medicine, and health, in addition to the social history of southern Italy.

Reviews

“In this uncommonly refreshing contribution to the vibrant historical discourse on marginalisation, Skinner engages with current concerns beyond her chronological and thematic focus, while eschewing anachronism and reductionism. With ample evidence and spirited argument, she challenges widespread generalisations about past attitudes—and exposes persistent prejudices—towards the physically different.” (Luke Demaitre, Visiting Professor, Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities, University of Virginia, and author of “Leprosy in Premodern Medicine: A Malady of the Whole Body”)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

  • Introduction: Writing and Reading About Medieval Disfigurement

    Skinner, Patricia

    Pages 1-39

  • The Face, Honor and “Face”

    Skinner, Patricia

    Pages 41-66

  • Disfigurement, Authority and the Law

    Skinner, Patricia

    Pages 67-101

  • Stigma and Disfigurement: Putting on a Brave Face?

    Skinner, Patricia

    Pages 103-132

  • Defacing Women: The Gendering of Disfigurement

    Skinner, Patricia

    Pages 133-158

Buy this book

eBook  
  • ISBN 978-1-137-54439-1
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on link.springer.com
Hardcover £20.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-349-95073-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Living with Disfigurement in Early Medieval Europe
Authors
Series Title
The New Middle Ages
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-54439-1
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-54439-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-349-95073-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 282
Topics