Medieval poinsettias? I think not….

Well, I can’t believe poinsettias, pretty as they are, ever featured in medieval European Christmas festivities! Any more than turkeys, roast potatoes, cranberries, chocolate and other such delights that are due entirely to the New World. The above picture is from this article about the pagan origins of Christmas, and for all its New World… Continue reading Medieval poinsettias? I think not….

From a wild flower to the Great Feast of Cawood….

While looking in A Dictionary of Superstitions, edited by Iona and Moira Tatem, specifically for anything concerning Midsummer traditions, I found one that involved the orpine/sedum plant. The following passage was taken from Brand, Antiquities I 263-4, 1777:- “….on 22nd January, 1801, a small gold ring….was exhibited to the Society of Antiquaries….It had been found….in… Continue reading From a wild flower to the Great Feast of Cawood….

Hygiene in Medieval Times

Have you ever asked yourself how people washed and perfume themselves in Medieval time? And what about the smart and noble Plantagenets? Was there a difference between rich and poor people? You will be surprised to discover that Mediaeval people were cleaner than we can imagine and they smelled good. As you can imagine, hygienic… Continue reading Hygiene in Medieval Times

A “noxious weed” that Culpeper praised….

My recent research has taken me into the realm of medieval plants, remedies, myths and legends. It’s fascinating, and I could easily become too engaged by it all, to the detriment of the things that led me to it in the first place. Until two days ago I don’t think I had ever seen the… Continue reading A “noxious weed” that Culpeper praised….

Myths about the murderous mandrake….

  “….in the Mediterranean there grows a…murderous plant called the mandrake. Its roots can look bizarrely like a human body, and legend holds that it can even come in male and female form. It’s said to spring from the dripping fat and blood…of a hanged man. Dare pull it from the earth and it lets… Continue reading Myths about the murderous mandrake….

Yet another target for the Cairo dwellers

Last autumn, we reblogged posts to illustrate that the denialists of the history world, quite apart from their antics with respect to Richard III, quoted an obviously non-existent part of a document about Edward II and cited a book on botany, with reference to John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham, that he couldn’t have owned… Continue reading Yet another target for the Cairo dwellers

The Poison Garden….a list of plants to avoid….! While going through some of my very large list of Favourites from my days of Regency writing, I came upon a site that I think will be of interest to those devoted to the mediaeval period. And writers concerned with that period, because let’s face it, if we need to bump a character off,… Continue reading The Poison Garden….a list of plants to avoid….!