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Carole Rawcliffe - 'Delectable Sightes and Fragrant Smelles': Gardens and Health in Late Medieval and Early Modern England | JSTOR: Garden History, Vol. 36, No. 1 (Spring, 2008), pp. 3-21
In an age before the development of the microscope and the advent of modern medicine, gardens constituted a frontline defence in the battle against disease. This was in part because of the religious symbolism of the 'Fall' and of the expulsion from Paradise. But Englishmen and women were also becoming increasingly familiar with Classical Greek medical theory, which emphasized the close relationship between health and the environment, while also stressing the dramatic impact of both scent and sight upon human physiology and psychology. Whereas foul odours (miasmas) were believed to spread sickness, floral perfume, fresh air and a verdant landscape helped to prevent it by promoting physical and mental stability. The onset of plague (1348-50) created a rapidly expanding popular market for advice literature, which, in turn, informed manuals on the design and cultivation of gardens. A study of late medieval monastic houses and hospitals reveals the extent to which these ideas were translated into practice, so that the sick might enjoy the medicinal benefits of green space, and the healthy engage in recreation for mind and body. -- didn't download
article  jstor  British_history  medieval  16thC  17thC  cultural_history  history_of_science  medicine  botany  gardens  psychology  bibliography  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader

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