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More from Alice Raw

‘Then I chucked bread at her head’: Women slut-shaming women in medieval London

In 1497, Joan Rokker called Joan Sebar a whore on her front doorstep then threw bread at her. How, where, and why did medieval women publicly sexually defame other women?

Before Cards of Humanity: Games for Medieval Women

It’s winter in Suffolk, and you and your friends are bored of sewing. What next? Why, a round of ‘Have Your Desire’, of course! In this quick fire dice game, you roll to reveal your fortune. Spoiler alert: you’re probably going to have sex.

Further Reading:
Nicola McDonald, ‘Fragments of Have Your Desire: Brome Women at Play’, Medieval Domesticity, ed. Kowaleski & Goldberg (Cambridge, 2008)

WAP, but make it medieval and Welsh: Medieval Welsh poet Gwerful Mechain explains why pussy is the best.

Little is known about the medieval Welsh poet Gwerful Mechain, but she wrote some absolute bangers, including ‘Cywydd y cedor’, or, to non-Welsh speakers, ‘Poem to the vagina’. In the opening, she says that men have written some great praise poetry about women, but they are incomplete, because they don’t include detailed praise of genitalia. She then gives us a further thirty lines dedicated to WAP.

Further Reading:
Katie Gramich, The Works of Gwerful Mechain (Peterborough, ON, 2018)

More in United Kingdom

Did Novel-Reading Cause Suicides?

In 1839, Charles William Bond died on this street. At the inquest into his death, it was suggested that novel-reading had contributed to his suicidal feelings. Learn about how contemporaries could interpret and rationalise suicidal behaviour.