I picked up quite the lovely little book at the used book store the other day…
The complete history of poisonings, but accidental and…otherwise.
Fun Facts Gleaned From This Treasure:
- Did you know the term “Mad Hatters” came from the insanity brought on to these tradesmen through the mercury they used to soften hat leather?
2. It also turns out that the beautiful green arsenic wallpaper so favored by the rich in the 18th century was…not a good idea. In dry weather it was fine but once it got moist out…bye bye sanity.
3. In Victorian era London, a prime way to poison your husband was to buy flypaper and brew tea with it.
The genius of these women.
I mean, whatever passed for the FDA in Victorian era England (probably an underpaid clerk in the depths of a tenement building placed in the sewers, we’ve all seen Oliver) didn’t even know that flypaper was made with poisonous stuff (I think it was cyanide? Not sure), and yet all these housewives who were forced to stay home and sew every day between popping a baby out every ten months somehow gleaned that, by brewing this flypaper into a tea, one could off their husband in a completely undetectable way.
Not that I would put any of this into practice, of course…
Because let’s be honest, modern day forensics pretty much put the kibosh on all of this chicanery.
But just in case Handmaids Tale ever becomes a reality…
I will file this National Treasure under “Books That May Become Pertinent in our Dystopian Future”.
Until next time –