Equine Medicine and Popular Romance in Late Medieval England explores a seldom-studied trove of English veterinary manuals, illuminating how the daily care of horses they describe reshapes our understanding of equine representation in the popular romance of late medieval England. A saint removes a horse’s leg the more easily to shoe him; a wild horse transforms spur wounds into the self-healing practice of bleeding; a messenger calculates time through his horse’s body. Such are the rich and conflicted visions of horse/human connection in the period. Exploring this imagined relation, Francine McGregor reveals a cultural undercurrent in which medieval England is so reliant on equine bodies that human anxieties, desires, and very orientation in daily life are often figured through them. This book illuminates the complex and contradictory yearnings shaping medieval perceptions of the horse, the self, and the identities born of their affinity.
Francine McGregor holds a PhD in literature from the University of Connecticut and is currently an Assistant Professor of Medieval Literature at Arizona State University, New College. She has published on Chaucer, Medieval British Romance, Gender Studies, and Animal Studies, with a particular focus on horses.
List of Illustrations
1 Hippiatric Manuals and Horse Hooves
1 No Hoof; No Horse
2 From Hostile Hooves to Unruly Organs: Malory’s Lancelot and the Limits of Metaphor 2 “Unmaking” Animal Bodies 1 Between Bodies 2 Severed Heads and Interchangeable Selves 3 Unmaking Metaphor 3 Reining Fantasies: Bridles, Will, and Animal Inwardness 1 Hippiatric Manuals and Equine Minds 2 Bodies and Bridles 3 Translating Animals, Translating Desire 4 Shared Selves 4 Equine Bodies and Human Time; or, Saddling Space and Time 1 Saddling Movement 2 The Economics of Mortality 3 What’s Love Got to Do with It? 5 “As Hot as He May Suffer It”: Pain, Touch, and Healing 1 Hand, Touch, and Sensory Troubles 2 Hippiatric Texts and Invisible Hands 3 Pain, Touch, and Healing 4 Literary Sleights of Hand and Participatory Touch
This book is intended for scholars of medieval literature and culture and scholars of animal studies, as well as graduate students, advanced undergraduates, and other invested readers.