Signs and Portents: Monstrous Births from the Middle Ages to the Age of Enlightenment

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9780415032360: Signs and Portents: Monstrous Births from the Middle Ages to the Age of Enlightenment
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As reports in the popular press often illustrate, the fascination with monstrous births is still with us. Whether as objects of salacious curiosity, medical study, or as signs and portents, monstrous births have been studied throughout history, yet comparatively little has been written to explore this peculiar interest.
In Signs and Portents, Professor Wilson charts the changes in attitude to monstrous births from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. Drawing on a wealth of printed sources throughout Europe, many of which are little known to scholars, he shows how 'monsters' were interpreted in the sixteenth century as mysterious visitations from God, auguring catastrophe and punishment, even at times involving demons and bewitchment. Through the Enlightenment these ideas gradually changed to include the natural philosopher's curiosity about the strange and wondrous, before monsters increasingly came to be seen as problems for medicine to understand.
Lavishly illustrated with quotations from an abundance of pamphlets and books, as well as including many unfamiliar illustrations, Signs and Portents is the first full-length study of monstrous births for over half a century. It will be of interest not only to medical historians, but also to all those concerned with the cultural history of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.

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Dudley Wilson is Professor of French at the University of Durham.

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WILSON, DUDLEY
Published by Routledge London (1993)
ISBN 10: 0415032369 ISBN 13: 9780415032360
Used Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
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Book Description Routledge London, 1993. Hardback. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. - minor shelfwear - slight scratch to front of wrapper - very minor foxing to edge of text block - ow Clean bright tight book 215 pages. 8vo. Seller Inventory # 630812

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