leatherboundbooks

New arrivals!

It's been a happy week this week with the arrival of a few medieval books which I've been looking forward to! Medieval Woman & Law; Stolen Women in Medieval England and a new copy of Love, Locked Out.

Also this week, a new 14th century chesspiece seal to add to my collection!

There's been a huge amount of rain today and some minor flooding in my street but in between the showers on the way to work I was able to take some photos of the Jacaranda trees which are blooming!

Looking forward to the weekend.

bling

Celebrating Poland!

It's a special giveaway on facebook on the Rosalie's Medieval Woman post to celebrate the launch of "The Very Secret Sex Lives of Medieval Women" into the Polish Language! The release date is the 12th October, 2021, so the giveaway will run all week from then.

To enter, all you need to do is this:

  • Live in Poland
  • Comment on the FACEBOOK POST why you would like a brooch
  • Wait to see if you are the randomly drawn winner

The lucky winner will have a beautiful reproduction of my special brooch based on the finding from Normandy, dated 1250-1350 from the Gilbert Collection. It is hand made by Polish craftsman, Grzegorz from Institorium.

loveintheair

Foods for love!

Medieval aphrodisiacs were not of the ilk that we hope for today. Today we think champagne, caviar and oysters. Or chocolate. The medieval woman was unlikely to find any of these on her list of things to inflame the passions, so what might she consider?

Onion
Onion

Onions. Let's start with onions. 

The Four Seasons of the House of Cerruti, which is a copy of the Tacuinum Sanitatis from the 14th century has this to say:

"An excellent thing, the onion, and highly suited for old people. They generate milk in nursing mothers and fertile semen in men." 

One might think that onion breath might be somewhat off-putting, but the manuscript fails to tell us how to prepare them for the desired effect.  

Hildegarde von Bingen recommended steering away from them altogether and wasn't a fan at all. 

Nasturtium seeds
Nasturtium seeds

Garden Nasturtiums are also pretty good in the sexy-times department. If you look closely at the seeds, you might feel that they look quite similar to a certain male genitalia, and you'd be right.

Attributing properties to foods and plants in the natural world based on things it reminded one of, was called the Doctrine of Signatures. It was understood that since God had created all things, both good and ill, health and disease, then he had put the cures for all ills here on earth with us, we only needed to find them. 

Nasturtium seeds in various stages of dryness
Nasturtium seeds in various stages of dryness

We would find them, it was thought, by seeing similarities in the physical object and what it was needed to cure. 

If a bean looked like a kidney, it stood to reason that it would be helpful medicinally for the kidney.

So, in this way, nasturtium seeds, which resembles testicles, would be helpful to augment the sperm and coitus.

asparagus
asparagus

Asparagus is quite sexy, right?

The Four Seasons of the House of Cerruti assures us it absolutely was. It tells us

"Pick those young stalks whose tips point downwards. They open up occlusions which prevent the humours from flowing regularly through the body's passages, and they stimulate carnal relations. Asparagus is harmful to the intestinal hairs unless it is first boiled in salted water with vinegar."

The fact that it is male member-shaped isn't worth thinking about. Another version of the same manuscript from Vienna, tells us that it influences coitus positively, but doesn't say for which gender.

If you've got a lot going on and want something a little more all-purpose, then leeks might be your best bet. They stimulate urination, influence coitus and, when mixed with honey, clear up catarrh of the chest, according to that quite-reliable source of herbal healthcare, the Tacuinum Sanitatis. Rather unhelpfully, it doesn't clarify whether the coitus is influenced for the better or worse.

Food for thought.


imhot

Planet Sarah Grant

Tuesday was a bit of a fun day recording a podcast for comedian Sarah Grant's new set of interviews, called TMI. She's a lass who is all about the Too Much Information, so when she asked if I'd do one with her, naturally, I said yes.

Entirely unnecessary inclusion of kitty
Entirely unnecessary inclusion of kitty

Sarah is currently Covid-trapped in Sydney, so we recorded via digital media, which also meant that proper zoom etiquette was duly followed and household cat displayed for gratuitous admiration. We might be talking frankly about things with TMI, but protocols must be followed!

We had a really fun few hours chatting about secret medieval lady sexy times things and hopefully, the recording went well and the editing will provide a reasonable listening experience.

We covered some of my favourite things- recipes for aphrodisiacs, Burchard's Corrector (he of the extremely rude church confessional questions) and spoke about some of the options a medieval woman has when it came to sex.

Sarah is hoping to have the podcast ready to go live in November, so I will keep you posted! meanwhile you can stalk her on Instagram @planetsarahgrant.

fangirl

Love Your Bookshop Day

Love Your Bookshop Day 2021.
Love Your Bookshop Day 2021.

When it comes to love, there's nothing like a book to take you there! How many readers have sighed over Jane Austin and shared the journey of Mr Darcy and the lady who captures his heart?

Books are love. A gift of a book is love shared.

International Love Your Bookshop Day is a day to support your real,  live, bricks and mortar places who bring, not the digital version, but the real papery-goodness of a bound volume to hold in your hands to you. 

Books are magical portals to limitless worlds, there's no doubt about it. 

This Saturday, I celebrate this special day with my local bookshop, Books@Stones with a book signing (and medieval chit chat.) Every copy of the Very Secret Sex Lives of Medieval Women sold gets a complimentary special secret love pack of medieval treats for your sexy times at home!

Books@Stones is celebrating it's 10th birthday as well, so there'll be cake and other special guests through the day!

I do hope you'll join us.

fantastic

Small excitements!

Best selling!
Best selling!

It's a small achievement, I know, to make the top of a category on AmazonAU and it changes all the time, but I was extremely beyond excited to see that my book had made it all the way to the top of one of the categories!

I feel like it's definitely a weird category to put my book in (books go in multiple categories for easier searching) but looking at the book next to me, it seems to be where quite a few history-type books go too!

This has completely made my day!

secretsquirrel

Preparing for Love

It's International Love Your Book Shop Day next Saturday and I'll be there at my local book shop, Books@Stones at Stones Corner in Brisbane signing books!

Because I'm all about love, I'll be having some cute little calico bags full of medieval love goodies, FREE with every copy of the Very Secret Sex Lives of Medieval Women sold, guaranteed to light those flames of desire, medieval-style!

So... what's in the bags?

It wouldn't be a secret surprise, if I told you!

homesweethome

Chess!

Hand crafted games board
Hand crafted games board

Sometimes the world smiles at you in unexpected ways!

Our hospital has a little Red Cross shop, which supplies crutches and mobility aids to hospital patients, but also sells little craft items, hand made by the ladies who volunteer there.

It's a place where home-made preserves still can be found. They sell hand-knitted scarves, beanies and toy and knitted teapot cosies! There are small craft items at Xmas, and the money raised supports them and our hospital. The cost of these items doesn't even begin to cover the materials used to make them, much less the time it takes to put them together.

This week, I saw a games board.

Manesse Codex, 14th century, Germany.
Manesse Codex, 14th century, Germany.

As far as there items go, it was priced well above everything else in the shop, and the lady seemed a little apologetic. It was $30. That's all. Such a small amount for the huge amount of time, skill and effort which would have gone into making this item. The pieces are inlaid, not painted. And the board is quite a large size and the workmanship is beautiful.

It's beautiful!

Medieval upper class women, as we know, were board game players as much as we are today. They could afford to pay for beautifully-crafted boards and pieces and had the leisure time in which to play. I am planning on painting some decorative roses on the dark pieces. 

Lewis Chess Queen: photo British Museum
Lewis Chess Queen: photo British Museum

Very few surviving sets remain. The most famous, the Lewis Chessmen, date to between the 12th and early 13th century. They are made from both sperm whale tooth and walrus ivory. 

Although it is likely they were made in Trondheim, Norway, they were discovered on a beach in Lewis, Scotland.

The pieces are held in both the Scottish Museum and the British Museum. 82 pieces are owned by the British Museum in London, and 11 are at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. There is another in a private collection, sold at auction, and the whereabouts of the others is unknown.

The Lewis chess set is the most widely reproduced set in the world.

celebrate

Już wkrótce do Polski!

The Very Secret Sex Lives of Medieval Women. Now in Polish!
The Very Secret Sex Lives of Medieval Women. Now in Polish!


Premiera tej pasjonującej ksiązki już 12 .10.

Seks, miłość i średniowiecze – sprawdź, co działo się za zamkniętymi drzwiami sypialni setki lat temu. Poznaj prawdziwe historie średniowiecznych kobiet. Oto seksowny, barwny i rzeczywisty obraz najbardziej tajemniczej epoki w dziejach.

Jak naprawdę wyglądało życie seksualne kobiet w średniowieczu? Czy spełniały one niewolniczo wszystkie zachcianki mężów, którzy na czas nieobecności zakuwali je w pasy cnoty? Czy czerpały z seksu przyjemność? Czy tylko uznawały go za jeszcze jeden uciążliwy obowiązek? Czy miały coś do powiedzenia w sprawach własnej seksualności i własnych ciał? Mimo sztampowych obrazów prezentowanych choćby w hollywoodzkich filmach życie intymne w średniowieczu było bardziej bogate i zróżnicowane, niż można by się spodziewać. Kobiety kochały i rozpaczały, pożądały i spiskowały, śmiało oddawały się rozkoszom cielesnym lub wybierały wstrzemięźliwość. W tej książce znajdziecie prawdziwe historie ponad stu kobiet z czasów średniowiecznych, tworzące barwny, sugestywny i rzeczywisty obraz tamtej epoki.

Powyższy opis pochodzi od wydawcy.

I just couldn't be more excited to receive a message today from Radosław Kot, who has translated The Very Secret Sex Lives of Medieval Women into Polish! You can see his post on Facebook here.

If you'd like to see more, or perhaps order a copy, visit REBIS for more information or order here at the website!