On writing for one of my favourite blogs... and finding a remedy in my family's papers!
concerns about cold, clanking equipment used in gynaecological procedures go back a long way in history
Here’s a particularly fine case of Bad History, showing that while it’s bad enough to modify an ancient text to make it into a precursor of a modern condition, it’s even worse to misread a remedy as a symptom in order to make a historical text do what you want it to do! Trotula… Continue reading Making a disease from a remedy: Trotula and vaginismus
I’m fascinated by the automatic fill-ins which search engines provide. For ‘Am I still…’ ‘Am I still a virgin?’ is a classic, along with ‘Am I still pregnant?’ and ‘Am I still in love?’ In all these cases I suspect that, if you need to ask, the answer is probably ‘No’. I was recently doing… Continue reading The Language of God
I was recently re-watching Peter Greenaway’s movie The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982). Set at the end of the seventeenth century, it opens with a series of landed gentry types gossiping, often aiming to shock. After telling them a story from her childhood, one of the beautifully-dressed women states confidently “I used to pee like a horse.… Continue reading Peeing like a horse?