on 10 March 2006
There are many books on the history of medicine, but none that explore the background and framework when our ancestors were faced with a disease, which quickly became an epidemic and went on to become a pandemic. Furthermore, this was the age of the Borgias and Inquisition! Physicians were under pressure to deliver a cure, effective treatment, and preventative measures or see their reputations, and possibly the lives of themselves and their families destroyed. The authors have paid great attention to setting the scene and bringing their characters to reality. Most importantly, they have not indulged in any thinly veiled criticisms of the Roman Catholic faith. They emphasise that without the dedication and financial support of the 15th Century Papacy,syphilis (or, to give it the early modern name, Morbus Gallicus) would have led to greater misery. Contrasting the events described here with the present day global response to the HIV victims, you can see certain parallels, so maybe human nature has not moved on much in 500 years?
This book has been written by established medical historians who have researched and presented their subject well, and this book will appeal to anyone who has a serious interest in the subject.
It will appeal particularly to readers of Medieval, Religious and Scientific history as much as it will medical history. Although it is quite expensive, for the serious reader it will be a worthwhile and valuable resource, which is why I have given it five stars.