Q & A with Sally Brasher – Hospitals and charity

Posted by Rebecca Mortimer - Monday, 7 Aug 2017


What book in this field has inspired you the most?

Lester Little’s Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy in Medieval Europe.

Did your research take you to any unexpected places?

I started out researching women’s religious movements such as the Humiliati in northern Italy. Their involvement in managing hospitals lead me to discover the overall importance of the hospital in medieval civic life. The medieval city fascinates me for its innovative governing mechanisms and responses to societal challenges.

What did you enjoy the most about writing your book?

Researching in Italy is a great pleasure. Each small town has its own archive so it required a good deal of travel and allowed me to meet many interesting archivists and eat some amazing meals!

What did you find hardest about writing your book?

The documents I used were mainly in medieval Latin and Italian. Even most of the secondary sources were in Italian. Translating so many documents was a great challenge.

Is this your first published book, or have you had others published?

I published one other book, Women of the Humiliati, a Moral Response to Medieval Civic Life.

How did you feel when you saw your first published book?

It is quite rewarding.

Why did you choose to publish with MUP?

MUP’s reputation in the field of Medieval History is outstanding.

Have you had time to think about your next research project yet? What are you working on now?

I have two projects in the works. I am expanding an essay on the political agency of Saint Catherine of Siena and a book on the historical foundations of certain modern issues dealing with gender and culture.




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