Author: Lisa Smith

Describing Seething Meat in the New World

By Cynthia D. Bertelsen Building on my last post on picturing New World foods in Thomas Hariot’s A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia, I now turn to the textual descriptions of those foods. After listing a number of food items and comparing them to…

Human Milk as Medicine in Imperial China: Practice or Fantasy?

By He Bian What does milk have in common with blood? According to Kou Zongshi (fl. 1110-1117), author of Bencao yanyi (Extended Interpretations on Materia Medica), they are basically the same vital fluid produced by the female body at two critical moments in a woman’s life. While the first menstrual…

Controlled substances in Roman law and pharmacy?

By Molly Jones-Lewis Let me begin with a passage from the Digest of Roman Law within the section on the Lex Cornelia on murderers and poisoners (D.48.8.3.3): It is laid down by another decree of the senate that dealers in cosmetics[1] are liable to the penalty of this law (the…

On Close Reading and Teamwork

Say the word ‘crowdsourcing’ and people automatically think of large-scale projects. Talk about ‘digital humanities’ and we think mining large sources of data. The online world is a vast and busy place. It’s not surprising that the media–and adherents of the ‘slow reading’ movement–regularly fret that the internet is destroying…

On Close Reading and Teamwork

Say the word ‘crowdsourcing’ and people automatically think of large-scale projects. Talk about ‘digital humanities’ and we think mining large sources of data. The online world is a vast and busy place. It’s not surprising that the media–and adherents of the ‘slow reading’ movement–regularly fret that the internet is destroying…

Making ‘powder for hourglasses’ in the early modern household

By Stephanie Pope There are numerous fascinating recipes in BnF Ms. Fr. 640, the sixteenth-century French metallurgist’s manual which forms the basis of Pamela Smith’s Making and Knowing Project–but, for me, the most fascinating of all is the one to make ‘powder for hourglasses’: It must be made very fine…

A Recipe for Recipe Research: The Making and Knowing Project

By Pamela Smith The Aim The Making and Knowing Project is a five-year initiative to create an open-access critical digital edition and English translation of an intriguing late sixteenth-century French manuscript, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Ms. Fr. 640. This anonymous manuscript is the written result of recipe collecting and workshop…

“For English Girls … in the Eastern Empire”: Housekeeping in British India

By Cynthia D. Bertelsen An Indian household can no more be governed peacefully, without dignity and prestige, than an Indian Empire. ~ Steel and Gardiner The British Empire at its zenith stretched across more than fourteen million square miles, ruling nearly half a billion people. Social and racial attitudes forged…

“For English Girls … in the Eastern Empire”: Housekeeping in British India

By Cynthia D. Bertelsen An Indian household can no more be governed peacefully, without dignity and prestige, than an Indian Empire. ~ Steel and Gardiner The British Empire at its zenith stretched across more than fourteen million square miles, ruling nearly half a billion people. Social and racial attitudes forged…

All in the mind? Competing models of hysteria in John Ward’s Diaries

By Alanna Skuse In my previous post, I introduced the diaries of Reverend John Ward, the seventeenth-century vicar of Stratford-on-Avon and sometime medical practitioner. Among Ward’s vast collection of notes on medical and scientific topics were many on sexual behaviour and biology. In this post, I will show how Ward…

All in the mind? Competing models of hysteria in John Ward’s Diaries

By Alanna Skuse In my previous post, I introduced the diaries of Reverend John Ward, the seventeenth-century vicar of Stratford-on-Avon and sometime medical practitioner. Among Ward’s vast collection of notes on medical and scientific topics were many on sexual behaviour and biology. In this post, I will show how Ward…

Transcription Communities: Experiencing a Transcribathon in a Class Setting

By Nancy Simpson-Younger As part of my Book in Society class, thirteen students took part in the Early Modern Recipes Online Collective’s Transcribathon on Wednesday, October 7th, For this group, transcribing Winche’s work was the culmination of a two-week unit on paleography, which covered italic and secretary hands as well…

A Remedy for Witchcraft and Demonic Possession in Seventeenth-Century Ireland

By Andrew Sneddon There were only a handful of witch trials in early modern Ireland, and only one witch-lynching, of an old woman by her neighbours in Antrim town, Co. Antrim in 1698. The ‘witch’ was accused of using witchcraft to demonically possess a young girl of Presbyterian gentry stock.…

Antimony and Ambergris: ‘New’ Ingredients in the Antidotarium magnum

By Kathleen Walker-Meikle Ground-up burnt elephant bones (spodium), musk, sumac, white sandalwood, ginger, mace, musk, cinnamon, roses, camphor, cardamom, galangal, nutmeg, galia muscata (a mix of musk and ambergris, a secretion from sperm whales)… This is just part of the list of ingredients required by an electuary recipe to bring…

The (Near) Magic of Digital Access to Manuscript Cookbooks

By Stephen Schmidt A conference panel on American cheese-making has just wrapped up, and someone in the audience stands and asks a question: “Can anyone tell me when in the nineteenth-century American recipes for chowder began to call for milk?” The question is not a total non sequitur because milk…

An intriguing invitation

This in from the Early Modern Recipes Online Collective, happily coinciding with The Recipes Project‘s Digital Humanities month… A seventeenth-century recipe book. Twelve hours. 208 pages. And transcribers from around the world. Our goal? Using the Folger Shakespeare Library’s online transcription platform, we’ll collaboratively produce a searchable transcription of Rebeckah…