I’m a writer and researcher of medical and psychological history. With one foot set firmly in the past I began my research at university, seeking bizarre medicine in forgotten places: dusty old medical manuscripts in the British Library - more magic than medicine - revealed to me a world of elves and nightwalkers believed by our ancestors to be diseases as real as Covid is for us today. Then there were transcripts of witch trials, and weird stuff dug up by archeologists that re-write history to show how women played a greater role in ancient medicine than we’d previously believed. That’s what my first three books are all about – bringing forgotten people and their beliefs alive!
I'm currently working on two new projects. The first focuses even more upon the local narratives of real people handling their health during the medieval era. This was a time when local knowledge was called upon and recorded for the first time in the notes of women, healing their families, and monks, healing their brothers in the monasteries. From the remedies they used we can see into their lives.
The second is all about Snoflig, which means, in Old English, 'To be full of snivel with a cold in the head'. Very pertinent for a Covid world!