Erin Maglaque

Erin Maglaque is a historian at Sheffield.

Pigs, Pre-Roasted: Lazy-delicious-land

Erin Maglaque, 16 December 2021

It was good​ to be a butcher in Antwerp. The Butchers’ Guild was one of the oldest in the city and membership was hereditary: the names of the 62 old butchering families were inscribed in the guild’s Lineage Book. Turned out in blood-red tunics, the butchers spent the morning trading cattle at the Ossenmarkt, or selling sausages and offal in the Vleeshuis, the butchers’...

According​ to Jeremias Drexel, who published a guide to notetaking in 1641, reading well was as effortful as goldmining – and potentially as enriching. His book, the Aurifodina, was illustrated with a frontispiece showing two kinds of work. On the left, miners raise picks high over their heads, chipping gold from the rock. On the right, a scholar bends over his desk, carefully...

Like a Slice of Ham: Unpregnancy

Erin Maglaque, 4 February 2021

Thepro-choice case for abortion rights rests partly on the possessive pronoun. My body, my choice. Keep your rosaries off my ovaries. These slogans are predicated on the idea that a woman owns her internal organs, and that this ownership is what entitles her to make decisions about them. I once accepted this idea without much thought. Then I had an abortion. It was my abdomen under the...

Down with Occurrences: Baroque Excess

Erin Maglaque, 3 December 2020

FernandBraudel’s wife, Paule, remembered sitting with him on a wintry day at a café in Dubrovnik in the 1930s, watching a boat laden with firewood slowly coming into the port. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘we are in the 16th century.’ It was this sense of historical time that gave Braudel’s masterpiece, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age...

‘Surely it is a great wonder’, Niccolò Machiavelli wrote to his friend Francesco Vettori in 1514, ‘to contemplate how blind human beings are in matters that involve their own sins.’ But it isn’t really very strange. Few of us have the strength to face our flaws. Machiavelli knew that he was the real wonder: a connoisseur of depravity; an atheist who...

Inclined to Putrefaction: In Quarantine

Erin Maglaque, 20 February 2020

Inthe cold autumn of 1629, the plague came to Italy. It arrived with the German mercenaries (and their fleas) who marched through the Piedmont countryside. The epidemic raged through the north, only slowing when it reached the natural barrier of the Apennines. On the other side of the mountains, Florence braced itself. The officials of the Sanità, the city’s health board, wrote...

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