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26 January, 2017

Medievally Speaking reviews: Metzler, Fools and Idiots?

Lauryn Mayer just reviewed Irina Metzler. Fools and Idiots? Intellectual Disability in the Middle Ages. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016, for Medievally Speaking:

While both the figure of the court fool and that of the medieval madman have been the subject of numerous publications, research on medieval perceptions of intellectual disability has been relatively neglected. As Metzler notes in her introduction, “the overarching interest of historians has been in the more glamourous acquired madness rather than folly or idiocy” (2). Interest in the topic has also been hampered by the all-too-prevalent construction of the Middle Ages as simple, primitive, or childish, a place where intellectual disability would be inherently less visible among the populace, or by excessive caution in applying modern diagnostic criteria to a pre-modern phenomenon. Moreover,... READ FULL REVIEW HERE