My Top Ten Most Atrocious Historical Beliefs and Practices
I’ve come across the most, er, interesting facts while researching my historical novels. I’ve chuckled at some, grimaced at others, and had WTF (White Turkey Feathers) moments with others.
I can’t help shake my head and ponder what it really would have been like to live a few centuries ago. Some beliefs and practices were rather astonishing, if not downright macabre.
Here’s my list of the top ten most atrocious:
1. Drugging children with “soothing syrups” which contained quantities of morphine, heroin, cocaine, and other lovely drugs. (Gee, and to think I struggled with giving my kidlets Tylenol or Benadryl.)
2. The consumption or application of mercury for nearly everything. (Yep, that highly toxic stuff that’s guaranteed to send you six feet under.)
3. Wife selling-Say what? Seems that hubby could auction off wifey. You know, divorce was so frowned upon. So much better to sell one’s wife to be free of her.
4. The 19th century cure for ED (No, not eating disorder . . . erectile dysfunction) was ever so much more creative than taking a little pill. Strap on an electrical device meant to come in contact with a certain sensitive area of the male anatomy and ... ZAP!
5. Feeling like you’re coming down with cold? Try a tobacco smoke enema. Not going any farther with that one. I might lose my lunch.
6. And if the idea of a tobacco enema didn’t send you running for the door, there was always the good ole urine enema. Heck, you could bath in the stuff or even swig it to cure just about everything including body odor. Hmm, because urine smells so wonderful?
7. Okay, this one is so gross, I almost didn’t include it. Anthropodermic bibliopegy, which is just a fancy way to say binding books in human skin. What nut job came up with that one?
(I really shouldn’t have eaten before writing this.)
8. I’m blushing as I write this one, and so it will be very brief. The cure for female hysteria was quite simple. A doctor administered a massage to a certain part of a lady’s anatomy. Nuff said.
9. Know what a Tosher is? Well, I’m about to tell you. During the Victorian era, they tootled around the sewers looking for things to sell.
I’d laugh at this, or gag, except, I lost my wedding ring down the toilet. Really.
10. And last, post mortem pictures became all the vogue after the invention of photography, especially, pictures of children.
While I’m at it, I might as well mention, Mourning Jewelry, which either contained or was made of the dead person’s hair. Bleck!
There you have it! I bet you are so grateful those practices have been abolishes. Well, most of them have. I’ll leave you to guess which ones are still being used.
|Blackness Castle - film location for Outlander|
A disillusioned Scottish gentlewoman.
Angelina Ellsworth once believed in love—before she discovered her husband of mere hours was a slave-trader and already married. To avoid the scandal and disgrace, she escapes to her aunt and uncle’s, the Duke and Duchess of Waterford. When Angelina learns she is with child, she vows she’ll never trust a man again.
A privileged English lord.
Flynn, Earl of Luxmoore, led an enchanted life until his father committed suicide after losing everything to Waterford in a wager. Stripped of all but his title, Flynn is thrust into the role of marquis as well as provider for his disabled sister and invalid mother. Unable to pay his father’s astronomical gambling loss, Flynn must choose between social or financial ruin.
When the duke suggests he’ll forgive the debt if Flynn marries his niece, Flynn accepts the duke’s proposal. Reluctant to wed a stranger, but willing to do anything to protect her babe and escape the clutches of the madman who still pursues her, Angelina agrees to the union.
Can Flynn and Angelina find happiness and love in a marriage neither wanted, or is the chasm between them insurmountable?
Award winning, best-selling author, Collette Cameron, has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master's in Teaching. Author of the Castle Brides Series and Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Collette writes Regency and Scottish historicals and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five mini-dachshunds. Mother to three and a self-proclaimed Cadbury Chocolate chocoholic, Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, trivia, and all things shabby chic. You'll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels.
Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers.
She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.
Connect with Collette:
Collette’s giving away a digital copy of The Earl’s Enticement to one commenter. To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about treasure - have you found any at the beach? Have you seen any at the museum?
2. Comments are open through Saturday, December 6, 10 pm in Baltimore
3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 7.
Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City