Herbals - Superstition Meets Science

Julie Smalley

North West
Notice Period:
Regular (more than one month's notice)
Paid: £70 + travel
13th March 2019
Plants | Gardens | Books

Herbals, or botanical texts, are fascinating glimpses into a world in transition. Plant wisdom from the ancients combined with practical experimentation to give Elizabethan gardeners and cooks plenty to learn. They could be charming and alarming at the same time. New introductions from the Americas were exciting: healthful tobacco, versatile sugar, and terrible tomatoes. How times and tastes change! Yet some recipes seem extraordinarily familiar. This talk explores the many surprises of Tudor and Early Modern plant catalogues, knowledge that helped pave the way for the gardens we know, love and nurture today.

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About Julie Smalley

History, travel and language combined are fascinating and fun. Join me for some exploring! Over several stimulating years I’m lucky to have excavated and interpreted a Roman-era dig, led guided walks, performed poetry in a Normandy village, and guested on regional radio. With an MA in Landscape, Heritage & Society (Liverpool) followed by an Advanced Diploma in Local History (Oxford) I have published over seventy articles, local to international. I set up ‘VITAL MINDS Lifelong Learning’ - a scheme to present social history in engaging ways especially for retirement villages. In addition I‘ve taught English as a Foreign Language courses in colleges, universities, companies, museums and youth hostels, and hosted homestay learners from Spain to Siberia. Cheshire-born, I grew up in Australia, worked in Sydney and London, and currently live near the scenic waterways of mid-Cheshire. I enjoy speaking to varied audiences which include family history & heritage societies, women’s clubs, WI, community groups, PROBUS, U3A, and cultural tours. My light-hearted, interactive talks always include a colourful display - and often come with added Antipodean perspectives. A history, travel and language sandwich!

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