Twice-told Tales


1. The Good Life: Bodies

Season 1, Ep. 1

This episode is about the relationship between living well and the body in early modern Europe. Was it achievable to live well or did the body and poor health always get in the way for early modern people? This week's sources are Thomas Elyot's medical regimen, intended to advise on protection against the plague and other illnesses, and Lyon poet Louise Labé's sonnets, in which she negotiates the relationship between body and soul in the search for a good, or better, life.

Works and websites referenced:

Eleanor Morgan, 'Pandemic Periods: Why Women's Periods Have Gone Haywire in Lockdown'

Louise Labé, Oeuvres (1555) -- especially Sonnet VII

Thomas Elyot, Castell of Helth (1536)

Early Modern Recipes Online Collective

We also briefly touch on the evolution of watermelons. Find out more here.

This podcast was supported by research grants from the Wellcome Trust (205359/Z/16/Z) and the British Academy (PF19\100080).

Thank you to our editor, Fiona Symon.

More Episodes