First published in English in 1973, The Royal Touch explores the supernatural character that was long attributed to royal power. Throughout history, both France and England claimed to hold kings with healing powers who, by their touch, could cure people from all strands of society from illness and disease. Indeed, the idea of royalty as something miraculous and sacred was common to the whole of Western Europe. Using the work of both professional scholars and of doctors, this work stands as a contribution to the political history of Europe.
Preface; Introduction; Book I: The Origins 1. The beginnings of the touch of scrofula 2. The origins of the royal healing power: the sacred aspects of royalty in the early centuries of the Middle Ages book 2: The Grandeur and Vicissitudes of the Royal Healers 1. Touching for scrofula and its popularity up to the end of the fifteenth century 2. The second miracle of English royalty: cramp rings 3. The sacred and miraculous aspects of royalty from the beginning of the touch for scrofula up to the Renaissance 4. Some confused beliefs: St-Marcoul, the kings of Franceand the seventh sons 5. The royal miracle during the Wars of Religion and the absolute monarchy 6. The decline and death of the royal touch Book 3: A Critical Interpretation of the Royal Miracle 1. A critical interpretation of the royal miracle; Appendices; Notes; Bibliography; Index