Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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This article focuses on Middle English medical recipes and aims to show that the concepts of “genre”, “text type” and “text tradition” provide useful tools for historical discourse analysis, as they operate in different ways and illustrate various sides of medieval texts. Medical recipes are a well-defined procedural genre included in a variety of contexts: they form the major contents of remedybooks, but they are also found within the learned tradition of medical writing. The reception and use of these texts can be studied through their genre contexts and other extralinguistic features. The assessment of their text-type features shows that a higher degree of standardisation is found in remedybooks; academic texts and surgical treatises show more variation. The observed differences cannot be attributed to genre, and the readership was presumably much the same. The underlying traditions seem to have been important: remedybooks were handbooks for consultation to find cures for diseases. The more standardised the format, the more easily the advice was accessible. In contrast, recipes in the learned tradition were included in longer treatises as integral parts for demonstration of the healing principles.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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