Food and Drink

Work Should Be More Like a Café

by Holly Tucker October 1, 2013
Work Should Be More Like a Café

By W. Scott Haine & Jeffrey H. Jackson When Yahoo!’s president required employees to work from the office rather than home, she raised a fundamental question about where we generate our most innovative ideas.  Do we need to work collaboratively to be inventive, or can we be inspired when we are alone? We suggest that […]

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Life and Death, Pompeii and Herculaneum

by Helen King April 10, 2013

by Helen King   It’s all about the fear… when you never get to eat your daily bread. I made it to Day 1 of the much-awaited British Museum exhibition on these two Roman cities – not because of careful planning but because, when I went online to book, that was simply the first day when slots […]

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An Old Doctor, a Convent Apothecary, and an Eighteenth-Century Medical Dispute

by Lisa Smith March 2, 2013
An Old Doctor, a Convent Apothecary, and an Eighteenth-Century Medical Dispute

By Lisa Smith, W&M Contributor In December 1718, Dr. Tolozé, who styled himself an ‘Ancien Medecin’ (Old Doctor), wrote to physician Étienne-François Geoffroy.[1] Tolozé wanted Geoffroy to settle a dispute between him and the nuns of St. Eutrope near Chartres. Geoffroy, he believed, was well-placed to help, being the doctor of a Mme Cossins who […]

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The Bottle and the Gallows

by Joel Harrington February 2, 2013
The Bottle and the Gallows

By Joel Harrington (W&M Regular Contributor) Rare is the human society, past or present, in which drinking alcohol has not served a variety of purposes. Naturally we think of relaxation and celebration, and of course the lubricating role of drink in a multitude of personal relationships: friendship, romance, business, politics, and even at the very end […]

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The Puppy Water and Other Early Modern Canine Recipes

by Lisa Smith May 31, 2012
The Puppy Water and Other Early Modern Canine Recipes

At first I thought it was a joke when I read a recipe for “The Puppy Water” in a recipe collection compiled by one Mary Doggett in 1682. “Take one Young fatt puppy and put him into a flatt Still Quartered Gutts and all ye Skin upon him”, then distill it along with buttermilk, white […]

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The Chocolate Baby

by cjones May 8, 2012
The Chocolate Baby

One of the strangest anecdotes to emerge from the already larger-than-life annals of Louis XIV’s reign concerns a perfectly forgettable woman, the Marquise de Coëtlogon, who lives on in infamy because she (apparently) had a chocolate addiction and the famed letter-writer Madame de Sévigné found out about it. As the epistolary paparazzi of her age, […]

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The peril of torphuts

by tracybarrett March 20, 2012
The peril of torphuts

by Tracy Barrett, W&M contributor Ah, the joys of research. You find exactly the detail you need to round out a character’s personality, or an artifact that will enable your plot to develop in the way that you want. Or you stumble upon something that you hadn’t been looking for, but which takes you in […]

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Muffin Man

by BethDunn January 9, 2012
Muffin Man

By Beth Dunn Was George Handel and a buttered muffin inadvertently responsible for the creation of the British Museum? Well, probably not. But honestly? I wouldn’t rule it out, either. So you know the British Museum. First public secular museum, established in 1753 when Sir Hans Sloane passed away and left his absurdly large and varied […]

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An Epidemic Caused by Alcohol: Beaune, 1746

by Lisa Smith December 21, 2011
An Epidemic Caused by Alcohol: Beaune, 1746

By Lisa Smith (W&M Regular Contributor) After the Battle of Rocoux (11 October, 1746), several Dutch prisoners of war were held in Beaune (Burgundy).  Townsmen were recruited as guards, with local lawyers and physicians – men of responsibility – as captains. Physician Vivant-Augustin Ganiare (1698-1781) expressed concerns about the prisoners being a potential source of […]

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Tales of an old English Christmas

by stephaniecowell November 30, 2011
Tales of an old English Christmas

by Stephanie Cowell (W&M Contributor) Some years before I became a novelist, I was a wandering English Christmas minstrel. I gathered legends and customs of Christmas in England from the medieval through the Victorian and put them together in a lively narrative. I added about twelve carols, from the obscure “There is no Rose of Such […]

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A Marvelous Dinner Party

by cjones November 18, 2011
A Marvelous Dinner Party

  Madame de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV, had a serious passion for porcelain. She took a leading role in patronage and artistic influence at the French manufactory at Vincennes, which produced the finest objects in the realm in the 1750s. The king provided the economic support to ensure that Pompadour and his court could […]

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Wandering the Virtual Stacks

by tracybarrett October 20, 2011
Wandering the Virtual Stacks

By Tracy Barrett, W & M Contributor I love poking through library shelves, stumbling on books whose existence had never occurred to me; finding, next to the book I’m looking for, an even more interesting one; marveling at titles (a recent favorite: The Thirteenth: Greatest of Centuries—take that, people who call the Middle Ages barbaric!); feeling […]

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Top Five Uses In Ancient Times For That Wonder Drug – Honey

by Holly Tucker November 5, 2010
Top Five Uses In Ancient Times For That Wonder Drug - Honey

By Vicki León The Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians – even the Babylonians couldn’t get enough of the gooey golden stuff. Sugar craving, you say? That wasn’t the half of it. 1. Honey was used to cure almost everything – and with good reason. Its antibacterial properties were far superior for burns, abscesses, and wounds than […]

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It’s rough, but someone has to do it….

by Holly Tucker June 30, 2010
It's rough, but someone has to do it....

Eglise Saint-Jean de Malte By Holly Tucker While Wonders & Marvels hums along as usual (with the help of my amazing editorial team), I’m actually spending the summer in France. Yes, France. To be more precise, the South of France. Aix-en-Provence. Yes, it’s a rough life. I’m here teaching at my university’s study abroad program. […]

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Fred Harvey and his Bird’s-eye View of History

by Holly Tucker June 29, 2010
Fred Harvey and his Bird’s-eye View of History

By Stephen Fried When I set out to write a book about Fred Harvey–who all but invented the American hospitality industry at his trackside restaurants and hotels between Chicago and Los Angeles along the Santa Fe–I thought I’d be writing a business biography set in the late 1800s, with some nice historical touches of the […]

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