expected publication: june 12
tw: animal cruelty
This book was absolutely disgusting and I loved every minute of it. What a weird sentence, right? The medieval times were so disgusting and deadly. I literally had no idea just how much filth and disease that floated through the castles. My desire to live in one has diminished slightly. Sure, I knew that life expectancy during that time was low but hot damn, it’s amazing anybody lived at all!
This book not only talking about different types of poisons and how royalty had a huuuuuge fear of it but how everyday objects used during that time was deadly. Make up had arsenic and mercury in it. Arsenic was used to “cure” a host of diseases along with everyday ailments. Even eating was dangerous. People would eat raw meat and unpasteurized milk. Bathing was frowned up along with handwashing and the washing of surgical utensils. The list goes on and on.
One thing I like to point out whenever I review books like these is readability. What I mean by this is some non fiction books can be wordy and cause my eyes to glaze over, thus not retaining any of the information I just read. This happened in this book but not as frequently as one would think. I was enthralled and thoroughly disgusted for most of the book. Especially when the different cases of how some famous people died. That was my favorite part. Truly just amazing how far medical technology has come. To think, we, as humans, once lived like that.
Also, friends, please be advised. There is slight mentions of animal cruelty. Often, when people were testing poisons, they would give them to cats and dogs to study the effects. Animals were also given the food and drink of the suspected poisoned human to test if there was actually poison in there or not. It’s mentioned periodically throughout the book but it’s not super graphic. Take care in your mental health if you decided to pick this book up.
Overall, this was a great book. I took a chance on it and it paid off. St. Martin’s Press has yet to steer me wrong. If you guys can handle gross detailed description of illness and death along with mentions of animal cruelty then this will be the book for you. Although, I can never look at medieval history the same way again.