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Advice for (medieval) old age

Old age began at 60 in the Middle Ages and, contrary to popular belief, a surprising number of people reached that birthday and surpassed it. Remedies for wrinkles and hair loss, plus a wealth of advice on food, sleep, exercise, mental stimulation and sex was available to those needing it in their later years.

Words by Katherine Harvey

  • In pictures

About the author

Katherine Harvey

Dr Katherine Harvey is a medieval historian based at Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author of ‘The Fires of Lust: Sex in the Middle Ages’ (Reaktion, 2021), a Sunday Times Paperback of the Week. Her writing has appeared in publications including BBC History Magazine, History Today, The Sunday Times, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Atlantic.