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More from Alice Raw

Joan of Leeds: A classic tale of boy meets girl, girl fakes death to escape nunnery.

Joan was forced to enter a nunnery by her parents. In 1318, she faked her own death and ran away to live a life of ‘carnal lust’ in Beverley. We’ve all been there.

Further Reading:
The Northern Way Research Project: https://thenorthernway151149306.wordpress.com/joan-of-leeds-her-own-story/

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)

Agnes Wellis: When you kiss someone one time and they think you’re getting married.

If you were sure you had married someone but they didn’t agree, the London consistory court was the place to be. Here, ecclesiastical judges heard contested marriage cases. Disgruntled non-couple couples brought all kinds of evidence: gifts, exchanges of vows, sexual relationships. But for one woman, denying marriage was as simple as admitting that they had made out a couple of times but she had never intended to marry him.

Further Reading:
Shannon McSheffrey, Marriage, Sex, and Civic Culture in Late Medieval London (Philadelphia, 2006)

More in United Kingdom

Mesmerism at University College Hospital

The nineteenth-century history of this now-famous medical institution includes stories of cancers cured with “animal magnetism”