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
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
I just found a terrific article on the theme of Germany's fairy tale 'moss woman' -- a cozy dame if there ever was. My source has almost as good a name -- a blog titled Huggin's Heathen Hoff. So, direct from Huggin, here is the primer on discovering your Norse spirit guide among the creeping … Continue reading Overhedge and Undertoe
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
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
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
I have been studying the art of falconry while researching my Renaissance-era book. There are scores of paintings, tapestries and etchings from the period of nobles hawking for pleasure, and posing with trained birds for portrait. Not a lot of what I've seen so far deals specifically with raptor training, however. So I was … Continue reading Who Tamed the First Falcon?