The realms of Apollo : literature and healing in seventeenth-century England /
Raymond A. Anselment.
Newark : University of Delaware Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, c1995.
316 p. ; 24 cm.
0874135532 (alk. paper)
More Details
Newark : University of Delaware Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, c1995.
0874135532 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-01:
Anselment (Univ. of Connecticut and author of Betwixt Jest and Earnest, CH, Apr'80, and Loyalist Resolve, 1988) examines attempts of victims and mourners to describe and to understand the various medical catastrophes that swept through the populace during the 17th century. Separate chapters discuss infant mortality, plague, syphilis, and smallpox; Anselment describes the nature, extent, and medical understanding of each affliction and then shows in detail how writers responded to it in prose (medical treatises, diaries, journals, broadsides, correspondence), verse, and occasionally drama. His syntheses and analyses of the poetry are especially perceptive, and some of his findings are a bit surprising. For example, poetry describing the plague tended to be generalized or restrained; syphilis, though often responded to with irony and wit, was by no means treated lightly. The seeming randomness of smallpox visitations was particularly unnerving. Many passages are quite moving, such as John Evelyn's anguished diary entry on the death from smallpox of his favorite child, but the anguish of less articulate victims and mourners has its own poignancy too. Anselment's research ranges far beyond the familiar writings of Evelyn and Pepys: his bibliography of primary sources alone extends for 22 pages. A well-written study, sympathetic yet restrained in tone and almost encyclopedic in its coverage. Literary scholars, historians, anthropologists, and students of the history of medicine will find it useful. Highly recommended for upper-level undergraduate collections and above. C. B. Dodson; University of North Carolina at Wilmington
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 1996
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Unpaid Annotation
A number of seventeenth-century poets confronted the physical and psychological realities of disease. The Realms of Apollo suggests how the poems illuminate a new cultural consciousness of sickness and death. This study also reveals meanings of sickness and death. This study also reveals meanings of sickness and death in the daily life and culture of seventeenth-century England.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. 9
Introductionp. 11
The Lyre and the Bowp. 23
The Bitter Fruits of Eve: Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Neonatal Deathp. 49
The King of Terrours: Plaguep. 91
The Plague of Venus: Venereal Diseasep. 131
A Double Death: Smallpoxp. 172
Notesp. 213
Bibliographyp. 261
Indexp. 305
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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