Pestilence in Medieval and Early Modern English Literature

By Bryon Lee Grigsby | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

I owe a great deal of thanks to a variety of people who fostered my interest in medicine and literature. I first have to thank the New York State Parks and Recreation, specifically Lake Tiorati, for supplying me with a summer job for thirteen years and for the start of my practical medical experience including vehicle extrication, drowning, minor and major first aid, emergency child births, and others. Staff members who have always supported me and furthered my knowledge both as a human being and as a First Responder include Oliver Schreiber, Peter Hechler, Alison Esposito, Dan and Cathi Steinberg, Debbie Hoffman, William and Pat Moore, Scott Richardson, Paul Gordon, Lori Vesely, and Nicole Gulliver. The good times at Tiorati by far outweigh the bad and the traumatic, thanks to all of you.

As for my academic career, I had the fortune and pleasure to work with two very caring professors from Moravian College. I need to thank Dr. Robert Burcaw, my mentor and friend, who continues to fascinate me with his energy about teaching and conviction that literature is about life. It is my hope that I can be half the teacher he was to me. I also have to thank Dr. Carole Brown, who introduced me to Chaucer and to the Middle Ages, at eight o'clock in the morning, spring semester my senior year.

At Wake Forest University, I continued my study of the Middle Ages under two exceptional professors and scholars, Dr. Gillian Overing and Dr. Gail Sigal. Through these professors, I was introduced to Dr. Allen Frantzen whose presentation on a Marxist reading of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde impressed me to the point that I wanted to be his student.

I owe Allen Frantzen a huge debt, not only for directing my book, but also for being a great and supportive teacher. Whatever scholarship I am able to produce is because of the high standards he has for his graduate students and their studies. I also need to thank Allen for encouraging me to study and write about images of the body in literature, which eventually led to my work on medieval medicine.

I also want to thank Dr. Jo Hays who not only worked on my book, but also was kind enough to do an independent study with me on the History of Medicine; Dr. James Biester who taught me much about Renaissance Literature and Rhetoric; and Dr. Carol Everest, from The King's University College, who agreed to be an outside reader. I thank her for her friendship

-xiii-

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Pestilence in Medieval and Early Modern English Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Series Editor Foreword ix
  • Contents xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter One - From Sophrosyne to Sin 15
  • Chapter Two - Leprosy, Bubonic Plague, and Syphilis 39
  • Chapter Three - Leprosy and Spiritual Sins in Medieval Literature 79
  • Chapter Four - Plague as Apocalypse in Medieval Literature 103
  • Chapter Five - Learning to Cope with Disease 127
  • Chapter Six - Leprosy and Syphilis in Early Modern Literature 157
  • Conclusion 179
  • Notes 185
  • Works Cited 189
  • Index 197
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