For the enquiring mind ...

Did you know:

  • some ancient Egyptian tombs had both baths and toilets?

  • a typical Roman storage jar could hold 6 gallons of water?

  • medieval monks took a bath 5 times a year?

  • lettuce was used by doctors to treat a fever?

The most basic of human functions down the ages and around the world.


Kindle version available on Amazon

CreateSpace print version available on Amazon and CreateSpace

And now, the Audiobook on Amazon

                       and free on 

Extracts from Chapter One:  Calls of nature and necessity

 I have seen the former latrines at Helmsley Castle in North Yorkshire in early January.  I had heard that these places were called garderobes, which is the same word as wardrobe, and wondered why: I then discovered that clothes were sometimes hung in them because it was believed that the smell would put off moths.  One imagines it might also put off those who wore the clothes afterwards, and their friends! 

. . . .

Nor were the cesspits terribly safe; there are several stories of people drowning in them, such as Richard the Raker in London in 1326, and eight princes plus a number of knights and nobles in 1183 in the Great Hall at Erfurt when, summoned there for a Diet (that's a medieval German parliament, not a meeting of Weightwatchers), their weight broke the floor and they fell through into the huge cesspool below (maybe they should have gone to Weightwatchers at that).


Remember your childhood?

I have a book about gender roles in children's adventure fiction now out with Cambridge Scholars Publishing. A detailed study of seven authors of the mid-twentieth century reveals that they were not always so gender-stereotyped as we imagine. 

If you're feeling rich (I didn't decide the price!) you can buy it from CSP here