Blood on the butcher’s knife

Blood on the butcher’s knife, In Blood Matters: Blood in European Literature and Thought, 1400-1700, ed. Bonnie Lander Johnson and Eleanor Decamp (forthcoming, submitted for review at press).

The late medieval period has complex and contradictory developments in the thinking about animal blood from butchery. It is both a potential … Continue reading

Modernity and medieval muck

Nature + Culture 9 (2014): 225-237

This article challenges the common presentation of the medieval street as a mud- and muck-filled cesspit. Using the television episode “Medieval London” of the Filthy Cities series aired by BBC Two in 2011 as a spring board, I discuss the realities of medieval waste management … Continue reading

The medieval sense of smell, stench, and sanitation

In Les cinq sens de la ville du Moyen Âge à nos jours, ed. Ulrike Krampl, Robert Beck and Emmanuelle Retaillaud-Bajac (Tours: Presses Universitaires François-Rabelais, 2013), 301-313.

Although linking smell and sanitation has been previously discussed by scholars as an early modern development, this article argues that controlling smells from human … Continue reading

The Metamorphosis of Ajax, jakes, and early modern urban sanitation

Early English Studies, 2010, online.

This article examines Sir John Harington’s A New Discourse of a Stale Subject, Called The Metamorphosis of Ajax through the lens of urban environmental history, examining the everyday context of Harington’s discourse. It argues that although Harington may have used the work for the political and social … Continue reading