184 Pages

Book 2 The Grandeur and Vicissitudes of the Royal Healers

I The French and English rites We have seen how the practice of touching made its appearance in Capetian France and Norman England. We shall now watch its expansion during the course of the closing centuries of the Middle Ages, up to the great moral crisis towards the end of the fifteenth century, which shook, among so many other old ideas, men's belief in the healing power of kings. But first let us try to trace the outward forms in which the rite was embodied during this period.