• FROM PRACTICA PHISICALIA TO MANDEVILLE’S TRAVELS: UNTANGLING THE MISATTRIBUTED IDENTITIES AND WRITINGS OF JOHN OF BURGUNDY

    Author(s):
    Alpo Seppo Santeri Honkapohja (see profile) , Lori Jones
    Date:
    2019
    Subject(s):
    Medieval manuscripts, History of medicine, Medieval literature, Middle English, Medieval England
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Plague, travelogue
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/9d7k-fj89
    Abstract:
    In a recent article, Patrick Outhwaite discusses censorship in ‘two previously unknown early sixteenth-century manuscript copies of the Middle English translation of the Practica phisicalia, the recipe book of John of Burgundy (circa 1338-1390).’ While this authorial attribution is problematic, it is in fact only the latest instance in a long tradition of mis-crediting works to a fourteenth-century physician known as John of Burgundy, John with the beard (à la barba, cum barba, von barba) or, in some texts, John of Bordeaux. John’s name has been attached to the most widely circulated plague treatise in late-medieval and early-modern England, but also has been mis-attributed to a number of other medical texts, both historically and in recent years. What complicates matters further is that this same ‘John of Burgundy’ has been hopelessly tied up with what is now considered to be a fictional work: Mandeville’s Travels. He is sometimes identified as the real author of the work, sometimes as the narrator, and in other instances as a physician encountered by the narrator. Here we attempt to unpack what is known about the historical John of Burgundy, how a variety of medical works came to bear his name, and why modern scholars need to be wary of such attributions.
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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