Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge March 18, 2020


The Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge is hosted by Long and Short Reviews.  This week’s topic is: the weirdest thing I learned reading fiction. 

Er, um, I don’t know?  I read so much and I love things that are based in fact – like Kathy Reichs’ Tempe Brennan series – but what do I remember about any of that?  Not much.

I know that I’ve found a deep fascination with forensics and specifically forensic anthropology because of Tempe.  I also know that the author is pretty amazing in and of herself.  But I’ve read most of her books in print so I don’t have the option of going to Amazon and looking up my highlights either.  *sigh*

So, I’m going to take a bit of a sidestep here today and give you a few weird and possibly gross things I’ve learned from a nonfiction book I was reading (before it had to go back to the library) called The Royal Art of Poison: Filthy Palaces, Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine, and Murder Most Foul by Eleanor Herman.

This I found interesting:

Italy was the beating heart of the poison trade. Both the ruling de Medici family of Tuscany and the Venetian republic set up poison factories to produce toxins as well as antidotes and test them on animals and condemned prisoners. Unlike the ancient Romans, who used plant-based poisons to murder imperial heirs and nagging mothers-in-law, Renaissance poisoners employed heavy metal poisons—the deadly quartet of arsenic, antimony, mercury, and lead.

Also, these weirdos would grind up gemstones and drink them to help stave off the chances of being poisoned.  Ah, to have that kind of money, am I right?

In elementary school, I remember doing a unit on Egypt and learning about how they embalmed bodies, so this wasn’t all that new to me.  However, the quote itself is amusing:

The herbs and spices placed in the abdominal cavity included chamomile, balsam, lavender, rosemary, thyme, cinnamon, sage, and other spices; it must have been rather like stuffing a chicken.

Note to self: do not roast a chicken anytime soon.

Lastly, to stop a nosebleed, it was suggested you stuff the bleeding nostril with pig poo, preferably while it was still warm.  I’m not sure about you, but that would immediately cause a secondary issue: projectile vomiting.

Aren’t you glad we live in modern times?  Or, considering the current state of the world, maybe not.


20 thoughts on “Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge March 18, 2020

    1. Hah, great minds, right?

      This might make you laugh then. We had our cat at the vet because I thought she had ear mites. They swabbed her ears and then prepared a slide to look at. Vet comes back in and says, “Yup, she has mites. You want to see?” My older girl nearly shouted YES. I think she surprised the vet. 🙂

      Thanks. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Interesting stuff on the poisons used back in the day, to eliminate the competition. And of course they’d have had no way to tell what it was that killed the person. Me late faither from Glesga (Glasgow) used to say that all they knew when he was growing up in the 30’s, was “He died of a fever,” with no way of knowing what caused the fever. Or, “He died of a Tuesday.” LOL!


    1. It’s been really interesting to read about, considering most of it was them poisoning themselves with lead in their makeup and other crazy stuff. Hahahaha – sometimes Tuesdays can be rough, huh?


  2. Stuff your nostril with pig poo???? That’s awesome. Not so awesome that I’ll try it, mind, but good for a grin!
    That poisoning book sounds very cool. Thanks. I’m going to check it out.


    1. Right? Like it’s a great conversation starter if nothing else. Or, conversation ender depending on the company!

      I hope you like it – I’m hoping I can get it from the library again soon so I can finish it. The fascinating part is that the author applies current forensics to the symptoms and sometimes exhumed remains and discusses whether the person was poisoned or not. Pretty cool stuff.


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