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November 1965

Medical Illustrations in Medieval Manuscripts.

Author Affiliations

By Loren MacKinney, PhD. Price, $15. Pp XIX, 190, with 18 color plates and 86 black and white illustrations. Wellcome Historical Medical Library, London, England, 1965.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;116(5):786. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03870050140022

This impressive volume should be reviewed by one of two types of reader: the recognized authority or the rank amateur. Ideally, it deserves the attention of the super-expert medievalist or the classical medical scholar who has himself just sent to press a similar book, a man who can correct any errors of translation, cite additional and more obscure references, and compare this work to others by Sigerist and Sudhoff. Summer vacation and editor generosity, however, permitted the review to be allocated to the second type of reader —the admitted novice, the first-time beholder, an enchanted reader who describes for others, perhaps unsophisticated, his encounter with a new and wondrous publication.

Professor MacKinney, with obvious care and enthusiasm, has selected 104 representative illustrations largely from European medical works of the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, each plate highlighting some special feature of the physicians, patients, practices, or customs of the times.

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