E. Ruth Harvey

Professor Emerita, Department of English and Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto

E. Ruth Harvey is the author of The Inward Wits: Psychological Theory in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (London, 1975) and the editor of The Court of Sapience (Toronto, 1984). Her research interests include medieval and early Renaissance learning, literature, and the history of medicine. She has written articles and book chapters on topics ranging from scientific and medical writing in the age of Chaucer and animal symbolism in literature to the history and practice of uroscopy, as well as single-handedly unearthing the complex manuscript and textual traditions of Henry Daniel’s two major encyclopedic works and their intellectual roots.

Nicholas Everett

Associate Professor, Department of History and Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto

Nick Everett’s research has concentrated on various aspects of early medieval Italian history and the history of literacy and education in early medieval Europe, but is more recently focused on the history of medicine, and specifically the history of pharmacy, in the medieval and early modern periods. He has published a number of articles on law, administration, hagiography, palaeography, and diplomatics, and is the author of Literacy in Lombard Italy, c. 568-774 A.D. (Cambridge, 2003), The Alphabet of Galen: Pharmacy from Antiquity to the Middle Ages (Toronto, 2012), and Patron Saints of Early Medieval Italy AD c. 350-800 (PIMS/Durham 2016). He is currently working on a study and translation of a twelfth-century formulary for compound drugs known as the Antidotarium Nicolai, the early medieval medical manuscripts of St Gall, and the application of insights from modern pharmacology and biochemistry to analyze pre-modern pharmaceuticals, or what he calls “historical pharmacology” (with M. Gabra, J. Ethnopharmacology 155 [2014]: 443-449).

M. Teresa Tavormina

Professor Emerita, Department of English, Michigan State University

M. Teresa Tavormina’s publications and editorial work include Kindly Similitude: Marriage and Family in Piers Plowman; The Yearbook of Langland Studies; Medieval England: An Encyclopedia; The Endless Knot: Studies in Old and Middle English Literature in Honor of Marie Borroff: Sex, Aging, and Death in a Medieval Medical Compendium: Trinity College Cambridge MS R.14.52, Its Texts, Language, and Scribe; “Uroscopy in Middle English: A Guide to the Texts and Manuscripts”; The Dome of Uryne: A Reading Edition of Nine Middle English Uroscopies (Early English Text Society o.s. 354, 2019); and shorter articles and editions on Chaucer, Langland, Middle English medical texts, science fiction, literature and medicine, and other topics.

Faith Wallis

Professor, History and Classical Studies, McGill University (jointly appointed with the Department of Social Studies of Medicine)

Faith Wallis is a historian of medieval Europe, specializing in the history of science and medicine. She has published translations and studies of medieval time-reckoning (computus) and medicine. Her current research focuses on medical education and the transmission of medical knowledge in the 12th century. She is preparing an edition of the earliest commentaries on the Articella, the first anthology of medical texts designed to support formal medical teaching in Western Europe. She is also editing the full five-book version of On the natures of things (De naturis rerum) by the English scholar Alexander Neckam (d. 1217).

Sarah Star

Visiting Assistant Professor, English and Comparative World Literature, Kenyon College

Sarah is currently completing a monograph studying the intersections of late medieval English literary and medical texts. She is interested in the physiological language that represents racial identities on the body, differentiates Christians from Jews and Muslims, and asserts the inextricability of physical and spiritual life. She has also begun work on a second book analyzing the poetics of vernacular authority in Middle English translations of technical treatises by Chaucer, Trevisa, and Daniel. She is the editor of the critical companion to Daniel’s Liber Uricrisiarum. Sarah currently teaches courses on literature and medicine, Chaucer, and medieval religion and race.

Jessica Henderson

PhD Candidate, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto

Jessica’s dissertation examines the understudied and undertheorized corpus of Middle English verse on medical subjects. She traces the transmission and use of approximately thirty texts on subjects such as phlebotomy, uroscopy and herbal remedies through the over one hundred manuscripts in which these texts are preserved. Her research explores possible answers to such questions as: how are these texts represented on the page and within the manuscript book; how do the constraints of rhyme and meter facilitate and enhance the content of these poems; can we classify these texts as strictly didactic; and, how do the manuscripts in which these verses appear reflect their genre and use? Apart from her thesis, Jessica also works with the manuscripts formerly owned by the 16th-century antiquarian, John Stow, for the digital John Stow Project which aims to recreate his personal library.

C. E. M. Henderson

PhD Candidate, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto

Cai’s MA dissertation examined the codicology and marginalia of a medical manuscript, York Minster Library MS XVI.E.32, to determine when and how it was compiled from its component booklets, and how and by whom its texts were read. Cai found that the marks, while often simple, were the result of directed, thoughtful reading, and used them to establish the identity and social setting of the main annotators. In addition to the Henry Daniel Project, Cai is a palaeographer and translator for Records of Early English Drama, and currently works on cognition and theories of the mind in late medieval English literature and text technology.

Winston Black

Lecturer, Medieval History, Dalhousie University and Idaho State University

Winston Black is a historian of medicine, science, and theology during the High Middle Ages, with numerous articles and chapters on pharmacy, medical and legal education, and intellectual culture in France and England. He published an edition, translation, and study of Henry of Huntingdon’s Anglicanus Ortus: A Verse Herbal of the Twelfth Century (Toronto and Oxford, 2012), which Henry Daniel used as a key source in his own herbal. He is the co-author of A History of the Middle Ages, 300-1500, Second Edition (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016) with John M. Riddle, and the author of Medicine and Healing in the Premodern West (Broadview, 2019) and The Middle Ages: Facts and Fictions (ABC-CLIO, 2019). He is currently preparing a new edition and study of the herbal, De viribus herbarum, of Macer Floridus, a textbook on the history of medieval pharmacy, and a popular history of medieval plague, The Black Death: Facts and Fictions.

Hannah Bower

Junior Research Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge

Hannah Bower’s research focuses on the boundaries, overlaps and exchanges between literary writing and other, apparently practical or scientific genres. Her doctorate, funded by the Wellcome Trust and completed at the University of Oxford, explored the linguistic and imaginative connections between medieval medical recipes and more canonical literary texts. She also completed a six-month secondment fellowship at the London Science Museum which explored the editorial history and reader reception of eighteenth-century medical pamphlets. Her current research continues this interdisciplinary approach by investigating the representation of mechanical marvels in all kinds of medieval writing and by exploring the role of impossibilia in creative, scientific, philosophical and practical thought.

Peter Murray Jones

Fellow Librarian at King’s College, Cambridge, UK, and an Affiliate of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge.

Peter Jones is currently writing a book on friars and medicine in England, 1224 to 1538. This will investigate the role of friars as medical practitioners as well as their contributions as authors and compilers of medical texts. His published work on medical history has centered on the relationship of knowledge to practice in late medieval and early modern England. This includes studies on the fourteenth century English surgeon John Arderne, and on fifteenth century medical practitioners who wrote about their own case-histories, like Thomas Fayreford and John Argentein. Language in medical and surgical writings is another focus of interest. He is a PI on the Generation to Reproduction project in HPS, Cambridge. A biography of John Arderne is also under contract.

Véronique Soreau

Associate fellow of the Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale in the University of Poitiers, France.

Véronique Soreau’s Ph.D. dissertation (University of Poitiers) is entitled “La médecine par les plantes et les étoiles entre le quinzième et le seizième siècle en Angleterre. Edition inédite d’une sélection de textes en moyen-anglais de quatre manuscrits situés à Trinity College Library, Cambridge: MSS O.1.13, O.5.26, R.14.32, R.14.51, et commentaires” (2 vols.). Her research focuses on Middle English texts in verse and prose dealing with medieval medicine, medical recipes and charms, the use of plants in remedies, and astrological medicine.  She participates in international symposia and regularly publishes articles, notably in the journal Etudes Anglaises Médiévales and the international “Recipes Project” website.  Two of her recent articles have been selected for publication in forthcoming volumes of La formule au Moyen-Age (Brepols).

Research and Transcription Team

Una Creedon-Carey‘s dissertation uses Old English texts to rethink contemporary ideas about matter, the body, and the human. Una founded and is currently running a palaeography reading group that includes graduate students from multiple disciplines.

Lara Howerton primarily studies silk textiles and their travels around the medieval Mediterranean. She still holds a deep-seated interest in medieval medicine, sparked by her undergraduate thesis on the Tacuinum Sanitatis, and is especially interested in the local adaptation of medical texts. She is also involved in digital humanities.

Shirley Kinney‘s primary research interest involves examining medieval methods of healing in order to understand how medieval people viewed and used the natural world. She also enjoys testing historical remedies for efficacy, but is not going to prescribe any to you.

Iona Lister’s research focuses on depictions of the body in Old English, Middle English, and Anglo-French literature. Her other areas of interest include multilingualism in medieval Britain, the history of the English language, medieval music manuscripts and representations of music in literature, palaeography, and translation.

Nora Thorburn began her career as a pharmacist and her research interests stayed on topic but travelled back to the Carolingian period. Her current project focuses on antidotes and antidote collections and what they can tell us about early medieval engagement with medical and pharmaceutical knowledge. Her other research interests include public health and manuscripts studies.

Elise Williams worked in the film and television industry for several years before returning to university to pursue graduate degrees in medieval history. Her primary research field is Anglo-Norman law, and she also has a keen interest in manuscript studies and medieval medical diagrams.

Page header image: courtesy of Wellcome Library.