"That's What She Said!"

I had been booked to speak at a luncheon for the Abbey Museum of Art & Archaeology on the subject of Medieval Women and Literacy. Of course, with the current Covid climate, it couldn't be held in person, and it was decided to turn it into a Zoom presentation!

This was to be the first for the museum, so it was a little exciting! I made a background for the talks, and hoped it would all go well! April 20th is our date!

Join me!

"That's What She Said!" Zoom presentation, 19 April, 2020


Let's Talk About It

Live at the Virtual Medieval Gathering, Easter 2020
Live at the Virtual Medieval Gathering, Easter 2020

I am beyond excited that my talk which became the soon-to-be-released book, "The Very Secret Sex Lives Of Medieval Women" was so well received with over two thousand views in 48 hours. People were kind enough to leave comments, over 700 at this stage.

I am overwhelmed with responses, messages and giggles from people who now no longer will be asking for Special Sauce with anything they order for the rest of forever, and my neighbour who caught the talk assured me that she blushed a number of times throughout!

I had originally planned to take the talk down after the Virtual Medieval Gathering 2020 was over, but I think I will leave it up for a while longer since there have been a lot of shares and perhaps not everyone who intended is caught up yet. A huge shout out to the Australian Living History Federation President, Louise McNally, who made the whole thing come together and the other weekend presenters who joined me.

If you are curious, my talk is still online and can be seen here:


A Very Happy Easter

Christine de Pisan
Christine de Pisan

On the subject of lady writers, one of our medieval favourites has to be the amazing Christine de Pisan, seen here in a detail from an illumination dated 1364 — 1430, Self Portrait, Works Of Christine De Pisan. While Christine, a single mother (widowed) with children to raise, is best known for what we consider to be her feminist writings and her strong messages of morals for women, she was at first not the woman she blossomed into.

It is less known that Christine at first despised herself for being a women. She considered herself loathsome because many men held the view that women were vile creatures, and if that was the view of such a large number of learned men, how could it be wrong?

It is fortunate for women of the time that she had a lightbulb moment and decided that women had a lot to offer in their own unique ways and set about writing her treatises and her very famous "City of Ladies."

Christine is often seen in art in her trademark blue gown, wimple and fashionable horned headdress, but to me, she will always look like she is rocking a set of Easter Bunny ears underneath her veil.


The Very Secret Sex Talk LIVE at the Virtual Medieval Gathering 2020

This Easter Saturday, my talk which became my upcoming new release in July, will be a part of a series of presentations at the Virtual Medieval Gathering 2020. Over the course of the weekend,  you may enjoy a number of fantastic presentations on a range of medieval topics by Australian and overseas presenters.  All are online LIVE and all are free. This is the first time this presentation has been made online and accessible outside of Australia and the broadcast will remain on the event page for the entire weekend to assist catch up viewing.

To watch, simply join the Virtual Medieval Gathering Facebook Group. I will be talking for about 45 minutes commencing at 12 noon  AEST.

For those of you logging on:

  • Australia 12 noon.

  • UK 3am.

  • Western Europe 4am.

  • Eastern Europe 5am.

  • California 7pm.

  • New York 10pm.

Where you need to go:
I'd love to see you virtually there!


It's Live!

Being very secret about anything is problematic at the best of times, especially if it's something exciting, but in the last few months, the whole world appears to be keenly dedicated to not only not keeping it's secrets secret, but actively sharing them online. Free access to online research is at an unprecedented high, and museums and galleries the world over are offering virtual tours from the safety of your very own Covid-19-free environment.

There are no secrets.

We have become sharers in a real effort to remain connected to those we love, the places we hold dear and the hobbies we take part in. Online tutorials, activities and virtual events have blossomed in a riot of information for those who suddenly find themselves at home and still hope to avoid the domestic chores they've been putting off for any extended period of time. Paint the back deck? But I've got a Virtual Walking Tour of Florence starting in five minutes! Put out that pile of ironing or sort the laundry cupboard? Why would I, when there's a really fascinating live tutorial covering step-by-step woad-dying processes in Finland which it is imperative I see. Today. It simply cannot wait a day longer.

If you're reading this, you quite likely have already seen the woad dying video and are waiting by your mailbox for your very own woad seeds to arrive. People I know literally are. I haven't ordered yet, but I must.

So here we are... sharing our secrets online and for free! Sparking our souls with the toasty glow of giggling with our socially distant friends and keeping our hearts connected. I hope you know where I'm going with this.

Online. The Very Secret Sex Lives of Medieval Women presentation is going live online.

Oh, yes. We're going there.

Stay tuned for more details soon.


Book Launch

I still have hopes that things may have calmed down a bit for small gathering like my book launch with my amazing local book shop Books@Stones, handily located at our Stones Corner in Brisbane. At this time, July 16th is still a way off and it's too early to make a decision.

I am probably more of a danger to others than they are to me, as my day job is in the Health Care Industry at a hospital in our capital city, so that needs to be considered also. Either way... I have a plan.

If I am completely unable to have a launch at the bookshop, I'm going to move it to work. Celebration treats and cake and freebies and a chance to win a book with the nurses, doctors and radiographers at work.  The Selfie Station may not get clearance by Infection Control, but at the very least, treats for our medical staff can go ahead! If things continue like this, they will be happy to have a small distraction, and I will still get to publicly thank the person I dedicated the book to who is a work colleague.

(it's okay, she doesn't read the blog.)


Selfie Station Goes Virtual!

My celebratory plans for the book launch are being reconsidered with the current Covid-19 health restrictions and the cancellation of the festival I was launching it at. As a result, many of the activities will be moved online.

The Selfie Station will now be a Virtual Selfie Station allowing people the world over to play, and not just festival goers. It will be a huge amount if digital editing for me, but will be fun and worth it.

How will this work? The idea is that instead of sticking their actual head into the Selfie Station, people can stick their digital head in. At the official launch time, I will have 24 hours receiving pictures of people's own heads (they can send through fb messenger) and within minutes I will digitally add their face into the cover and load into the Virtual Selfie Station Album on facebook. I'll timestamp and add the country if people are agreeable. For example, 2am Maria, Germany.

People can then tag and share to their own timelines.

I'll have a 24 hour twitter feed for the duration so people can say hello if they like or just follow the thoughts of a 24 hour digital uploading. At  the end of the 24 hours, I'll finish up what I've received if I'm  behind, but I think it will be easy to keep up. I have great digital  skills. The great thing about a Virtual Selfie Station is that anyone over the world can participate. The 24 hour window allows for different time  zones to play along.

Also,  anyone visiting my house beforehand can have a Real Life Selfie Station photo taken and I'll save them up for the launch and load them right at the start into a second album. They can then tag and share. Some bearded men I know are already dying to do a pic, so that will be really funny!

Giveaways will be done via short facebook Live Events also.


Dressing for success!

Of course, it's one thing to be secret and sexy, but we all know that if we look great, we feel great too! Thinking about this, I'm making some early 14th century clothes to wear for events- think Luttrell Psalter and Bohun Psalter gowns with barbettes and aprons.

Luttrell Psalter folio166v.
Luttrell Psalter folio166v.

14th century aprons are a whole minefield with some people swearing smocking was a thing and others saying it wasn't. I've had a hearty conversation on Rosalie's Medieval Women facebook page, and my next project is making one of the Luttrell Psalter aprons from folio 166v with the pattern couched. I feel this one isn't smocked at all. Couching on an apron from the Bohun Psalter has successfully recreated the look and I feel that I might be onto something here.

I've had a little conversation with Sarah Thursfield, she of the Medieval Tailor's Assistant (a book I heartily recommend for the medieval historical costumer) and I'm looking forward to sharing these results with her as we both are on the same page about aprons and smocking.

Stand by.


A Very Sexy Medieval Valentine

Manuscripts are well know for their allusions to sexy things and not-very-cryptic imagery, and the medieval world is just full of pictures which are nothing short of astonishing. Parted curtains with erect candles. Tent flaps drawn back to reveal poles and beds. The lack of subtlety is fantastic. I've included some great ones in my upcoming The Very Secret Sex Lives of Medieval Women, but as an avid facebooker and meme-maker, it gives me further opportunities to share many of these on social media, including this one which didn't make it to the book.

I think this wonderful unphotoshopped image of a naked man and a unicorn with an exceptionally large and impressive horn from the Rothschild Canticles, Flanders c. 1300 (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, MS 404, fol. 51r) is my favourite of all my Valentine memes, so for all you sexy lovers out there, I now share it with you.

Happy Day of Love.

The Very Secret Sex Lives of Medieval Women is available for pre-order right now from Amazon Au, Amazon Prime, Booktopia and Book Depository. Order yourself some self-love. You know you want to.


Book Launch at the Abbey Medieval Festival 2020!

The Very Secret Sex Lives of Medieval Women
The Very Secret Sex Lives of Medieval Women

It's official news, everyone! I will be at the Abbey Medieval Festival on the 11th and 12th July, 2020 and we will be unofficially launching!

My medieval pavilion will be located in the Marketplace this year, and that’s where you’ll find me all set up with some exciting things going on! For the rest of the world, we launch July 14th but if you're coming to the Abbey Medieval Festival,  my book  The Very Secret Sex Lives of Medieval Women will be in stock for the first time in the world ever and you can get one from me in person! Everyone who buys a book receives a free bookmark and a Very Secret Surprise! Of course, you can just buy a sexy, tasselled No touchy-touchy! bookmark. Or just swing past to say hello and check out the Selfie Station!

Yes! There will be a Selfie Station in the tent! The cover of the book has been recreated in a huge oversized canvas and when you put your head into the hole where the lady's head was, you will literally put yourself on the cover of the book! Bring your phone or mobile device and we will photograph as the woman on the cover for free

Because I love free stuff and I’m sure you do too, I’m having a fun, free and slightly silly competition each day to win a signed book. All you need to do is come to the tent and say the Very Secret Word which will be on facebook the week before. Say the word, go into the draw free with one lucky person winning a book each day. 

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