, or thereabouts, an English doctor
named Richard of Lincoln
(about whom nothing else is known, and who may have had another surname
a short but fascinating book on medical science as it then stood. The volume,
which has no proper title, runs to nearly fifty pages, and is written almost
entirely in English, which is very rare for medical and scientific texts of this
period. It contains what seems to be intended as a comprehensive survey of the
practice of medicine, covering physical and spiritual treatments.
Among the contents are sections on mathematics
methods and healthy living
. The illustration
include diagrams of 'the zodiac
man' and 'the vein
man', used to assist in
the then-current methods of diagnosis
, and assorted calendar tables and other
charts. Another remarkable section gives a description of a pilgrimage
, giving details of places to visit along the way.
Although not attributed, this section appears likely to be based on the personal
testimony of someone who made the trip. Aside from the alleged spiritual
benefits of such a pilgrimage, it would also be seen as having a direct and
positive bearing on the pilgrim
's physical health.
The volume came into the news recently when Baroness Tessa Blackstone
Minister of State for the Arts, placed a temporary ban on the work's export
in order to allow time for money to be raised to keep it in Britain
recommended price was then £210 000.