Not so long ago, kids cheered the Gypsy Parisian dancer, Ezmerelda befriend a hunchback on the Disney screen. The red-tempered Carmen bewitched opera and bull-fighting fans, everywhere in the countless iterations of that Spanish tragedy. And then Hollywood got its hands on a group of American Romanichel, the U.S. branch of Irish Travelers, in the … Continue reading The Romani World: Researching a misunderstood people
I am very humbled for Honestly Austen’s review, new today at her site.
In the borderlands of the village Les Échelles, giants sleep and werewolves howl. Travelers must cross deep gorges to pay visit. The only strangers are treasure-hunters seeking the riches of Zahara, a drowned Crusader bride. She planted the nearby woods with rich botanicals, now the healing herbs of Irène Guéri, apothecary in these parts. When a cruel invader storms the village he brings along his shy, though brilliant alchemist, Joaquíno Durande. Will Irene join forces with this scholar, risking her profession and her neighbors’ trust, or flee to the valley? Enormous decisions await, and great danger as friends, neighbors, and even the tools of Irene’s workshop rise, enchanted, into the fray of war.
My Favourite Quotes:
Again I must limit myself to five quotes! My mantra when I get to this section of my review especially with this book!
“‘A healer’s best cure,” LaSage said often, ‘is to…
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In mere weeks, I'll be unveiling my third novel, The Peddler of Wisdom. Here above is detail of the cover. I hope you'll help me welcome this new title featuring Irene, herbalist and healer of the Medieval French village, Les Echelles. I'd love to have visitors thoughts on the novel, its time period, details, characters, … Continue reading On the Way: The Peddler of Wisdom
I found a terrific online newsletter today, Wonders and Marvels, edited by one Holly King, professor of Bioethics AND French at Vanderbilt University. This little gem has both outstanding historical trivia and articles of Important Note on themes very close to my heart -- women in the history of science. One disturbing story they recently … Continue reading Strange midwifery
Guest post by Laura Matthias Bendoly
Did women of the late medieval and early modern era (1500-1650) take part in paid professions? Could they earn an income? Were they permitted to study or to transmit their learning to others? The short answer is ‘no.’ And yet, there were occasions in 16th and 17th century Europe for ‘however.’
Under most circumstances, medieval and renaissance trade guilds did not permit women full membership. Rare, too, were cases when women earned an income. If a female did receive payment for services, including those of home-healing, those payments would have been sporadic. They would have been far less than payments made to a male counterpart, and the woman might receive her fees in secret. Opinion in most European communities of the 16th and 17th centuries held that women’s services should be for free, and that such services as healing, midwifery…
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One of my research sources, the Toronto Bata Shoe Museum, has an online exhibition at the moment that includes a wonderful assortment of men's footwear, including one or two from the period I'm studing, the mid 17th century. One shoe I particulary like is the young man's pump here: The costume that accompanied this shoe … Continue reading Being well heeled
June Newsletter So who hasn't nearly swooned during scenes from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series? Though the epic is a tad melodramatic for me, I am grateful to Clare Randall Fraser for popularizing the healer character in popular fiction. Though it's a role we somewhat expect from historic women, there aren't many, beyond professional nurses, whose entire … Continue reading Field Healing and Dry Stone Walls