Tallow, The Baltic Trade and Filthy, Shadowy Georgian London

I was surprised, a while back, to discover that all isinglass in Georgian England was imported from the Baltic. But wouldn’t know you, that’s where they got tallow, too. Tallow, of course, was used to make cheap candles and soap. In the Georgian Era, tallow candles were the ones that got everyday use, while wax […]

Baude Cordier, Pando, and The Lifecycle of Radical Music

The composition on the left is “Belle, bonne, sage,” composed by Baude Cordier, a musician who fell into the “Ars subtilior” school — that is, the “more subtle” school of music, which flourished briefly right around the end of the 14th century, in southern France and Northern Spain: you’ll see some sources call that “late medieval” and […]

Phadaeng Nang Ai, Translated by Wajuppa Tossa

I came to Wajuppa Tossa’s translation of Phadaeng Nang Ai via Bryan Thao Worra’s Demonstra (discussed here, more info here–and it’s even discounted right now, and $7 is a steal!), where it’s mentioned in passing (in an appendix, I think). What got me curious about it (after I looked it up) was the impression I got that it’s basically an epic […]

Hidden Treasures…

Having just finished Jim Baker’s The Cunning Man’s Handbook (which I discussed earlier here, and mentioned in passing here: it’s a big book, so I’d been reading it for a while now) I can say that big chunks of history suddenly make a lot more sense to me. For one thing, the constant fascination with hidden treasure. Basically, a […]