Field Healing and Dry Stone Walls

  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

Teen Were-warriors of France

The research I've been looking at recently reveals some surprising wolf mythology, a link, perhaps, to the popularity of werewolves in the Francophile lore.  Just today I found that the place I write about in my current novel, a village straddling Northwest Provence/Southwest Savoy, was home in the 18th cent. to a killing spree -- … Continue reading Teen Were-warriors of France

Renaissance Fare — chefs of Provence ca. 1600

Among my current tasks to prepare my historic novel manuscript for its final edit, I need to locate some of the foodstuffs my protagonist, Irene, would have had available in 1630. To that end, I have found a translated handbook, the Viandier of Taillevent or "The Meaty Wind-slicer," that was compiled for the benefit of courtly … Continue reading Renaissance Fare — chefs of Provence ca. 1600

Magic in the Age of Enlightenment

  Inventors of the Renaissance were a curious lot. Some painted, others robbed graves, numerous built bridges and domes, many tended to the sick, almost all were employed by governments and numerous wound up in prison, fearing for their lives. Among these inventor/artists were a number of alchemists. Members of this brotherhood tended to be … Continue reading Magic in the Age of Enlightenment

Lunatics on the Page

Madness appears as a regular feature of period fiction, and not just in recent years. Notable titles with this theme include The Metamorphosis, The Awakening, MacBeth, The Yellow Wallpaper, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, The Secret History, Their Eyes Were Watching God.  History includes such crazies as Caligula (kicked wife to death), Ivan the … Continue reading Lunatics on the Page

This sells funny – murder, revenge, & suicide by toxic wine and foodstuff

Research brings me currently to the phenomenon of poison. There appear to have been many kinds and a great many practitioners of the toxic arts during Europe's Early Modern period, AKA the 16th century. I have found a delightful number of poison objects and accounts of assassination, some of which I will borrow in The Peddler … Continue reading This sells funny – murder, revenge, & suicide by toxic wine and foodstuff