Fun facts

20 Medieval insults: From bedswerver to yaldson

A few days ago I realized that my characters were being woefully unimaginative with their insults – nothing more creative than “bastard” and “fool”. A shame, because Medieval insults can get a lot more creative!  So for educative purposes (okay, okay, and for my own amusement too): here’s a helpful list on how to offend people […]

Fainting and poisons: the Regency beauty ideal

Beauty is pain, they say. Regency women, unfortunately, were expected to take that saying very literally…  Even though a “natural” look was theoretically all the rage, most women decided to help nature a hand. And in order to satisfy the Regency beauty ideal, pain or even slow poisoning were considered rather acceptable costs.

Medieval terms of endearment: from culver to tickling

Some medieval terms of endearment are still in use today – honey and darling, for example, were already used affectionately around the 14th century. Others, however, didn’t stand the test of time. For anyone who wants to address their beloved in a historically accurate way (or who writes about historical characters), here’s a list!

“Matrimonial peacemaker”: penis names in history

Throughout history, people have been uncomfortable with naming genitalia. The word “penis” itself is an example – that used to mean “tail” in Latin! But many more euphemisms have been invented over the centuries… In this blog, I collected some of my favourite penis names in history. And boy, that’s a list.

“Penis investigators”: Erectile dysfunction in the Middle Ages

Magic and sex were closely linked in the Middle Ages. Earlier we saw, for example, the love charms written by Vikings. But magic could also have the opposite effect. People considered an erectile dysfunction the result of a curse – one that could have dire consequences for the afflicted men.

Literal fashion police: the sumptuary laws of Renaissance Florence

These days an unfashionable outift may cause some shame and embarrassment – but at least you won’t get fined for it. In Renaissance Florence and Venice, the wrong dress could cost you a considerable amount of money, thanks to sumptuary laws and the literal fashion police roaming the streets.

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