Bad lettuce….

Now that my latest book A Splendidly Smutty Dictionary of Sex has now hit the bookshops. I am returning to another project – a look at the role of vegetables in history. It may sound dull but it is certainly not. Have a quick look at the humble lettuce…. Samuel …

How to spot a lesbian…….

In Dell Richards excellent Lesbian Lists (1990), he trawled through old medical journals for ways to spot a lesbian. This was the advice given by the doctors of the day. 1800s. In the “Gay 90s”, that is, the 1890s, a sure sign of a lesbian was a woman who smoked …

A short history of “Falsies”………

One of the subjects I looked at in my new book A Splendidly Smutty Dictionary of Sex was something that I was always intrigued about – Falsies These first appeared in 19th century Paris in the form of a device known as the Bust Improver, which consisted of wool pads …

Celebrity Celibates…..

Whilst researching my new book, I came across some rather odd people: Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943) The inventor and futurist, who designed the first alternating current (AC) electrical supply system, also died a virgin. This extremely eccentric individual would work from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm every day and …

Blankets and Noddy’s…..

It has been very stormy here for the last day or so, and as a result the pack of cards has come out to while away the evenings. Whilst playing, the thought struck me on the odd words and names describing various cards. devil’s bed-post (c.1835) the four of clubs, …

Urbanus Magnus or a Book on Manners………

As England became more prosperous in the 16th century there was a renewed focus on etiquette and manners. As befitting the influence of the renaissance this was also a time which saw a renewed interest in ‘household ordinances and serving manuals’- namely a series of Anglo-Latin courtesy poems which gave …

Stuck for a Christmas present?……

How about my new book – A Splendidly Smutty Dictionary of Sex ! Available now on https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07L88JT46 Did you know:: That women never wore knickers until the late 18th century? That Cleopatra reputedly invented the first vibrator? The rather odd history of the condom? What it means to give someone a …

A jobbernowl……

According to legal statute an idiot is an individual with an IQ of less than 20, an imbecile between 21 and 49 and a moron between 50 and 70. As you cast around for insults it may be worth remembering these categories. But then again, the English language has never …

A very short history of the Alka-Seltzer……

The Alka-Seltzer story began in the winter of 1928, when Hub Beardsley, president of the Dr. Miles Laboratories, visited the offices of a local newspaper in a small town in Indiana called Elkhart. There was a severe flu epidemic that year. Many of Beardsley’s own employees were out sick. But …