COLD AND WET, HOT AND DRY: THE KNOWING OF WOMAN’S KIND IN CHILDING, A FOURTEENTH CENTURY VERNACULAR OBSTETRICAL AND GYNECOLOGICAL TREATISE
This thesis presents a single witness edition of The Knowing of Woman’s Kind in Childing, which is a 14th century vernacular obstetrical and gynaecological treatise found in British Library MS Additional 12195. Purported to be emulating medical texts of French and Latin origin, The Knowing of Woman's Kind in Childing is “a novel fusing of several different texts and theoretical traditions into a single work” (Green, “Obstetrical” 64). The Knowing of Woman’s Kind in Childing is an important and significant medieval medical text because it has a self-identified female audience and a female-orientated medical focus. Accompanying notes and emendations from the four other extant witnesses are also presented: Oxford Bodley MS Douce 37 (SC 21611), Oxford MS Bodley 483 (SC 2062), Cambridge University Library MS Ii. 6. 33, and British Library MS Sloane 421A. This thesis explores the folklore of the traditional herbs, medicinals, and compounds used in the treatise. A comparison of the material appended to all five of the extant witnesses is presented in Appendix A; Appendix B lists the incidence of rubrication found in this edition; originating source material for the Knowing of Woman’s Kind in Childing is presented in Appendix C; and an alphabetical catalogue of medicinals, in four tables, can be found in Appendix D.
medieval medicine, medieval obstetrics, medieval gynecology, medieval medical recipes, childbirth, suffocation, retention, Trotula, Non omnes quidem, De viribus herbarum, herbs, Hindu-Arabic numbers, alchemy
Master of Arts (M.A.)