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Illustration Of A Man With A Twisted Mouth, In John of Arderne's 'Book Of Medicines'

Illustration Of A Man With A Twisted Mouth, In John of Arderne's 'Book Of Medicines'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1425

Shelfmark: Additional MS 29301

Item number: f.5v

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

This manuscript contains several works, including a collection of recipes, charms, and surgical operations by John of Arderne; a series of drawings of medicinal plants; and a Middle English translation of a Latin medical treatise. John of Arderne (1307-1376) was the first English surgeon to achieve national and international fame. He attended English troops at various battles in the Hundred Years War, which gave him the exceptional opportunities to treat injuries and to study corpses anatomically. The rubric in the left-hand margin introduces the author: 'I, the said master John Arderne, surgeon, sometime living in Newark near Lincoln, and afterwards at London . . .' From references to himself such as this, it is possible to form a clear idea about Arderne's life and career. The marginal drawing illustrates a passage about a twisted mouth.

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