While the nineteenth-century identification of Hogge of Ware as a drunkard continues to be a critical commonplace, consideration of what is said about him in the General Prologue, in his prologue and tale, and in the Manciple's Prologue suggests he may actually be more a victim of illness than of the grape. Easily forgotten is his palate's sensitivity to taste differences between London ales, his disapproval of Perkyn Revelour's tavern frequenting, and his reputation as a cook, a reputation that convinced five parish guild members to hire him for the Canterbury pilgrimage. His apparent lack of an aggressive personal hygiene, which may have resulted in the mormal on his shin, is exacerbated by lack of medical attention given to the lesion during the several days' journey on the road. The disease process of this unattended cutaneous distemper may explain such later symptoms as debilitating fatigue, seizure, rheum and sneezing, and fever-induced thirst.

You do not currently have access to this content.