Author Archives: Sara

The Alchemist at the RSC

Ben Jonson’s 1610 play The Alchemist was playing in Stratford-upon-Avon this summer (until 6 August) before transferring to The Barbican from September. Set against the backdrop of a great plague epidemic which has seen the wealthy abandon London for the cleaner country air, the play is a rare chance for those us interested in the history …

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Six Lessons From a Child’s Death

In a poignant diary entry dissenting minister and local physician James Clegg (1669-1755) described the death of one of his infant sons from convulsions. In March 1720 he noted that ‘My dear child Ebenezer was seized about the first day of this month with very strong convulsions which continued above a week and increased in …

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Versatile Ear Wax

  During their courtship King Henry VIII gave Anne Boleyn a present of a pendant which contained a gold ‘ear scoop’ for cleaning wax from the ear. Some people make a lot of ear wax, or cerumen as it is known medically, which can cause problems with hearing but modern advice is not to insert …

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Understanding Anger

Changing Perceptions of Anger in the Eighteenth Century A guest post by Dr Lina Minou   To draw an image of the physiology of anger in the eighteenth century was to draw an image on the verge of pathology. Representations of the human body in anger centre on notions of excess: excess of heat, excess of …

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Flesh and Spirit

This week’s post is a quick look at the anthology Flesh and Spirit: An Anthology of Seventeenth-century Women’s Writing August saw the first anniversary of the publication of Flesh and Spirit: An Anthology of Seventeenth-century Women’s Writing (Manchester University Press, 2014) co-edited by Sara, with Rachel Adcock (Keele) and Anna Ziomek. Since we didn’t have a moment to celebrate …

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