Open secrets
in Spectacular Performances
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This chapter begins with some bits of household advice from the sixteenth century. The first group comes from A Thousand Notable things, of sundry sortes. Whereof some are wonderfull, some straunge, some pleasant, divers necessary, a great sort profitable and many very precious, collected by Thomas Lupton, published in London in 1579. There are no love potions in Secrets of Alexis or A Thousand Notable Things, though they imply a relationship between men and women that certainly render a nostrum credible, given what constitutes evidence of success in toothache and earache cures. Remedies are given for impotence, including the impotence caused by witchcraft, a sufficiently attested condition to qualify as one of the very few legally acceptable grounds for divorce in the case of the Earl and Countess of Essex in 1613.

Spectacular Performances

Essays on theatre, imagery, books and selves in early modern England>

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