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I've been listening to my favourite Brother Cadfael audiobooks again, and somehow my mind strayed to that fabulous thread in Classics, "Ways of Dying in 1665"...
So I started wondering if there are any history buffs around who know a bit about medieval medicine, and who know the Brother Cadfael novels...
Slim chance, I know.
But I was wondering, in "The Potter's Field" and "The Holdy Thief", what exactly is the disease Donata Blount suffers from? It's described as "a disease that pared the flesh off her bones, turning her into a bundle of sticks, with greyish skin" but sparing her beautiful eyes. I've a medical background and what comes to mind is dermatomyositis, for some reason. Can't think of anything else.
And another question, about Soulien Blount. His elder brother Eudo inherits the Longner estate, and in "The Holy Thief", Soulien has taken up training in arms and is shortly to marry. Where will he and Pernel live? Obviously she'll leave her father's manor when she marries him, but if Soulien is going into service at the castle, would he and Pernel live at the castle? Or where?
Oh, I hope someone knows the answers to this - I have so many other questions about the period, I'd really love to be able to ask someone.
Its been a while since I read it but I think I assumed it was tuberculosis due to the translucent skin and wasting away. Could also have been something like cancer, diabetes, a deficiency like anaemia, something gastrointestinal like Crohns or a lot of different diseases as the epidemiology of many diseases has changed over time.
I'm afraid I don't know a huge amount about the medieval period though, I'm just fascinated by medicine through time.
Don't know why I never thought of cancer. Only that I got the impression she had the illness over several years and was completely mentally "there" all along, only wasting away. I would have thought untreated cancer would be terminal more quickly.
Thank you for the thread as I am re-reading the Falco books, on the second to last and already wondering what to re-read next. Cadfael it is. First thing I did in the garden when I bought this house was make a herb garden, am sure that was Cadfael's influence
Fiderer, no, the audiobooks I have are narrated by either Steohen Thorne or Patrick Tull. I much prefer Patrick Tull. Another of my favourite readers is George Guidell. Could listen to either one all day long.
CMOT <snogs> If any kind of TB, wouldn't the rest of the family have caught it, too? IIRC, it's pretty contagious.