Botanical manuscript of 450 watercolors of flowers and plants

Plant of the Month: Dittany

Did women in the premodern world have much agency over reproduction? Their use of plants like dittany suggests that they did.
A basilisk with a beam of light extending from its eye

The Extremely Real Science behind the Basilisk’s Lethal Gaze

According to the extramission theory of vision, our eyes send out beams of elemental fire that spread, nerve like, to create the visual field.
Mary Somerset

The Beaufort Botanist and Her “Innocent Diversion”

Despite the twelve volume herbarium she created, this seventeenth-century scientist earned little recognition. 
A woman writing a letter at a table

The Ladylike Language of Letters

Letters reveal how language changes. They also offer a peek into the way people--especially women--have always constructed their private and public selves.
Dancing Skeletons, 'Dance of Death' Rare Books Keywords: epb 5822

English Sweating Sickness: The Epidemic You Forgot to Be Terrified Of

The 15th and 16th epidemics of English sweating sIckness still fascinate historians and epidemiologists.