{Marquise de Brinvilliers is tortured before being beheaded. She had confessed to using poison to kill her father and two brothers, a horror story that was shortly after followed by the revelations of The Affair of the Poisons.}

My virtual friend Holly Tucker is a professor at Vanderbilt University, and as part of her honours seminar, “Leeches & Lancets:  Early Medicine in Cultural Contexts,” her students put up a website: Medicine and Magic. This will be part of a larger website, “Imagining the Past.”

Holly is the creator of the wonderful group-blog “Wonders & Marvels.” Anyone interested in history will love it. (For example, see a recent post, “Book Hoarding, 10th-century style.” A camel-carried library!)

I’m writing this as a shout-out to Holly’s students’ work: simply awesome. The website is a treasure-trove of information: 

Fertility and birth control

Witchcraft and medicine


Given how key all these subject areas are to the Court of the Sun King and the lives of my characters in both Mistress of the Sun and The Shadow Queen, I’m in revery.