Woman announces she is divorcing her pirate ghost husband.
Detail of the center panel of The Garden of Earthly Delights triptych, by Hieronymous Bosch, c. 1500. © Prado, Madrid / Bridgeman Images.
Volume IX, Number 4 | fall 2016
A fourteenth-century Egyptian encyclopedia includes a recipe to “tighten the vagina.” One should grind “the scorched skin of a jackal, the scorched hooves of a goat, the scorched hoof of a donkey, scorched thorn apple, a scorched sea crab, scorched polypody, and Persian thyme,” then administer as a suppository. “The woman,” promises the compiler, “becomes like a virgin.”
Every tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond.—Miguel de Cervantes, 1605
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