Military Surgery 1300-1600, by Jonathan Davies and Michael Harbinson
Booklet published by Stuart Press, 28 pages. A5 size booklet (N6627)
I was fortunate enough to be part of the Stafford Household that recreated the combat scenes for the Channel 4 programme on the battle of Towton, Blood Red Roses. I was responsible for simulating the blade wound on Towton 16, which had resulted in his jaw bone being almost completely cut through. The blow from a hand and a half sword fell exactly where a space would have appeared between the (bevor or chin guard) and his salet, when he raised his head in a careless moment. This horrendous injury was represented in a reconstruction of his face and the scarring produces a gruesome image of the medieval warrior. He had survived this wound to die at Towton, and his survival depended not only on his remarkable resilience but the quality of the care that he received. Of the twenty seven identifiable individuals in the grave, nine had signs of earlier wounds to the skull which had healed. Fractures and sword cuts could clearly be survived, by what must have been on the evidence of the skeletons large and tough men. This essay is an attempt to describe and explain the state of military surgery during the period 1300-1600. From the introduction:
The range of injuries that the medieval soldier and his Renaissance successor could suffer were numerous and horrible. The recently excavated skulls from Towton show the marks of extreme brutality. One skull had the marks from twelve separate blows, others were left with a massive puncture caused by a poleaxe smashing through the side of the head. Sword cuts, arrow strikes, polearm and mace blows were all found, leaving on these ancient skulls the mark of their passage, but leaving us to imagine the carnage that was visited on the living flesh. Contents include:
Powder of Sympathy
A hospital ward
Closure of wounds
Treatment of wounds
Natitre of injuries
Surgical and nursing provision
The condition of the booklet is generally very good. The cover has one or two minor scuffs, but the staple spine is intact, and all pages are intact, unblemished and tightly bound.
There is a small price sticker on the rear side cover.