Podcast

Episode 55 – The Third Rail

Happiest Sunday, Clovers.

We’re mere WEEKS away from seeing your glowing, beautiful faces at All Souls Con — and we cannot wait. If you haven’t already, drop us a line if you’re making the trip to Cardiff! We’d love to be able to say hello and give you a hug. If you can’t be in Cardiff, make sure to check out AllSoulsCon.org to find ways you can play along from afar!

In the meantime, it’s time to talk about Chapters 12-14 of Book of Life — right about the time that our plot threads come together in some really uncomfortable ways. This episode comes with a content warning: we will be discussing fiction and sexual violence, which may not be appropriate for all listeners. Please exercise your discretion when listening. In other news, we get to see Chris–and watch Fernando flirt with Chris, which always puts some pep in Cait’s step. There’s also the part where Chris calls Matthew a fossil, which Jen particularly enjoys.

Download the episode here.

If you like what we do, you can support us on Patreon or make a purchase from our Redbubble store. As you can see, Cait’s modeling our Partyfamilias design — it turned out really well! We have shirts and stickers and mugs and little bags and it’s been super fun seeing what y’all choose. Please let us know if you have comments or have trouble finding sizes/styles that work for you. We’re open to ideas!

You can also follow us on Twitter or join our Facebook group, the Chamomile & Clove Clovers. As always, feel free to leave us a review on iTunes or shoot us an e-mail at chamomileandclovecast@gmail.com.

Until next time!

xoxox

Cait and Jen

Real Time Reading

Shadow of Night Real-Time Reading – 1 February – Chapter 26

unsplash-logoShai Pal

Verin de Clermont sat in her Berlin home and stared down at the newspaper in disbelief.

“Verin” derives from the English and German “Verena” or may have Slavic origins. It means either “Faith” or “Truthful.”

“What is it, Schatz?” Ernst Neumann put a glass of wine in front of his wife. She looked far too serious for a Monday night.

Schatz is a German term of endearment meaning “gem, jewel, or treasure.” You could also call your beloved Schatzen or or Schatzi, both of which mean “little treasure.” If you want to branch out, you can use Mauschen/Mausi (little mouse), Haschen/Hasi (little bunny), Barchen (little bear), or my personal favorite (and oft-heard in my house), Schecke or Schnecken (little snail).

“Where are you, Gallowglass?” Her nephew was a drifter. In the past he’d sent postcards with nothing but a phone number on them from whatever stretch of road he was traveling at the moment: the autobahn in Germany, Route 66 in the States, Trollstigen in Norway, the Guoliang Tunnel Road in China.

The “autobahn” refers to Germany’s controlled-access highway system.

While unregulated sections of the autobahn have no speed limit, there are increased penalties for causing accidents at high speeds and many areas impose speed limits due to hazards like construction or substandard road surfaces.

Established 1926, Route 66 is one of the original highways in the US Highway System. The original route of Route 66 stretched from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California, passing through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona on the way. The original route no longer exists, but you can still drive many of its sections by following a turn-by-turn map.

Cadillac Ranch, from the Amarillo Visitor’s Council

In 1938, Route 66 became the first US highway to be completely paved. It’s also mostly flat, which made it popular with truckers and tourists heading west. During its heyday, Route 66 had hundreds of points of interest dotting its length — including the Cadillac Ranch (Amarillo, Texas), the town of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Petrified Forest National Park (Holbrook, Arizona), and the Santa Monica Pier (Los Angeles, California). The National Parks Service maintains a very detailed map of Route 66 Historic Sites broken down by groups of states along the way.

The Trollstigen, or Troll’s Road, runs from Geiranger to Stigrora in Northwest Norway. It’s a popular tourist attraction with eleven steep turns up the mountainside and beautiful views.

The mountains surrounding Trollstigen reach an altitude of over 1600m above sea-level. The area is full of stunning hiking opportunities and gorgeous fjords.

The Guoliang Tunnel merits an entry in the Atlas Obscura, so you know it must be odd. The road–dug into the side of a mountain at the cost of several lives–connects the village of Guoliang to the outside world, including the larger municipal area of Zhengzhou. Because the villagers followed the path of least resistance while tunneling the road, it dips and winds its way through the rock and is only wide enough for one car to pass through at a time. The video (embedded below) gives me hives.

“Where in the hell is Warrnambool”? Verin demanded.

“Australia,” Ernst and Gallowglass said at the same time.

Warrnambool is a city along Australia’s Great Ocean Road, which follows the southern coast of Australia and has a number of points of interest, including beaches, whale-watching sites, wineries, fisheries, and Aboriginal cultural landmarks. On this snowy, drizzly day in the national capital region, it sounds AMAZING. Oh, also — Warrnambool has a Cheese and Butter Museum listed on its “things to do” list. I am packing my bags as we speak.

“The number” had been generated in the earliest years of the telephone. Philippe had picked it: 917, for Ysabeau’s birthday in September.

17 September is a busy day in history: in 1630, it’s the date of the founding of the city of Boston, Massachusetts. In 1787, it’s the day that the US Constitution was signed in Philadelphia. In 1849, it’s the day that Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery. In 1954, it was the publication date for Lord of the Flies. In 2011, it was the day the Occupy Wall Street movement began.

Nyd, the rune for absence and desire. Gallowglass dipped his hand into the bag again to better understand what he wanted the future to hold.

“Rune” means “holding a secret.” Viking age civilizations used runes to predict the future or obtain answers from the oracle. In addition to serving as a “magical” system and potential system of divination, runes constituted a writing system in several countries that form part of modern-day Scandinavia. You can now buy rune stones on Amazon, though they may lack the historical and sentimental value of those Gallowglass carries.

As Deb points out in the Real-Time Reading Companion, Gallowglass has the last word until we re-join Matthew and Diana upon their arrival in Prague in March. Deb thinks of this song, Circa Paleo’s “The Gael” as “Gallowglass’s Theme.”

If you like what we do, please consider supporting us on Patreon. You can also find us on Facebook as the Chamomile & Clove Clovers.

If you’re suffering from #Witchdrawal, consider joining us tomorrow (2 February 2019) as we live-tweet Episode 1×03 of A Discovery of Witches TV at 4:30 PM Pacific/7:30 PM Eastern/12:30 AM GMT using the hashtag #ccalchemy. We’ve had a killer time live-tweeting Episodes 1×01 and 1×02 and we’d love for you to join us. Follow us @chamomilenclove on Twitter for updates. If you have questions, comments, or thoughts, send us a note at chamomileandclovecast@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you!

xoxox

Cait and Jen

Real Time Reading

Shadow of Night Real-Time Reading – 28-30 January – Chapter 25

unsplash-logohowling red

“I believe your husband and his friends call me the Old Fox. I am also, for my sins, the lord high treasurer.”

William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, lived from 1520-1598 and served as a primary advisor to Queen Elizabeth I. As a cautious and loyal advisor to the throne, the queen nicknamed Cecil “Spirit.” She had an apparent passion for nicknames and reportedly called one of her French suitors her “frog.”

After the death of Francis Walsingham, Cecil became the head of Elizabeth’s intricate spy network aimed at discovering (and squashing) Catholic plots against the queen.

In the text of Shadow of Night, Diana has every reason to be nervous about the appearance of Lord Burghley — after all, she knows that Matthew is in England as a Catholic spy on behalf of the de Clermonts. Lord Burghley did not believe in religious toleration — he believed that England “could never be in safety where there was a toleration of two religions. For there is no enmity so great as that for religion; and therefore they that differ in the service of their God can never agree in the service of their country.” 

The little snippet of Latin Lord Burghley quotes to Diana (Vanitatis vanitatum, omnis vanitas) comes from the Vulgate translation of Ecclesiastes 1:2, a verse which translates as “Vanity, vanity, everything vanity.” It’s a curious bit of verse for a Protestant, as it comes from the official version of the Latin Bible dating from the 4th century.

If you’re interested in Lord Burghley as a spymaster, there’s a current BBC series airing on PBS that looks pretty interesting.

“Because if we are not in the audience chamber at Richmond Palace by two in the afternoon tomorrow, Elizabeth will arrest us both.”

Going to court in Tudor England was no small thing. First of all, the Tudor palaces were explicitly designed to restrict access to the monarchy and channel people of different rank into appropriate spaces. Because only the most important (and affluent) people made it into the presence of the king or queen, it paid to appear in court dressed in the finest clothing money could buy. In Tudor times, proximity to the king or queen was the quickest way to attain favor–and thereby improve your title and fortune. However, if Elizabeth I felt that you slighted, betrayed, or otherwise disobeyed her, the consequences could be brutal. Court was complicated, political, and highly performative.

In Shadow of Night, Elizabeth I’s court is located at Richmond Palace, the lost palace of the Tudor monarchy. Henry VII died in the palace and it became Elizabeth I’s favorite — she died there in 1603 and her body made the journey to Westminister Abbey from its gates. In the mid-seventeenth century, after the execution of Charles I, Oliver Cromwell and his administration systematically stripped the palace until only a few bits and pieces remained. You can still visit the site of Richmond Palace in southwest London today.

“And silver and black are the queen’s colors. That’s why Walter is always wearing them,” Mary explained, smoothing the puffed sleeves.

Elizabeth I had a vast and impressive wardrobe. As she grew older, she apparently leaned into the image of herself as the Virgin Queen and preferred to dress in black, white, and silver — colors she believed represented purity and virginity. Throughout Elizabeth’s reign, England remained under strict sumptuary laws — Elizabeth I believed that her courtiers should dress according to (but not exceeding) their rank. This is why Elizabeth has a bit of a fit when she notices Diana’s borrowed ostrich feather fan — a luxury restricted to gentlemen and above by the sumptuary laws. Fans in particular were a symbol of wealth, and fixed fans were a bit of A THING for Elizabeth I (you can see all of her fixed fans in her portraits here). Ostrich feathers came into fashion in England in 1552 and remained popular for the rest of the sixteenth century.

Three days later on the feast of St. Brigid, we set sail on our long journey to see the Holy Roman Emperor, find a treacherous English daemon, and, at long last, catch a glimpse of Ashmole 782.

The feast of St. Brigid takes place on 1 February and marks the Celtic festival of Imbolc, the beginning of spring. Brigid is the patron saint of babies, blacksmiths, cattle farmers, midwives, mariners, milkmaids, and poets. After her death, St. Brigid was reportedly buried in the Kildare Cathedral — but many of her relics were destroyed in the sixteenth century during Lord Grey’s deputyship of Ireland. In a funny little historical twist, St. Brigid’s head was presented to the Society of Jesus in Lisbon by none other than our buddy Emperor Rudolf II. We’ll talk about him PLENTY in the coming weeks — don’t you worry.

We hope you’re enjoying the Real-Time Reading of Shadow of Night. If you like what we do, consider supporting us on Patreon or joining our Facebook group, the Chamomile & Clove Clovers. As always, you can find us on Twitter @chamomilenclove or e-mail us at chamomileandclovecast@gmail.com. We talked about this chapter and the end of Section III in Episode 31 — Full Elizabethan.

Until we see Verin in Berlin, take care of yourselves.

xoxo

Cait

Podcast

Episode 39 – Un-Ending

unsplash-logoJeremy Bishop

In this episode, it’s time to talk about middles of endings and endings of middles and middles muddles endings schmendings. You get the picture. When we return to the books in two weeks, we’ll give you our first wrap of this remarkable, complicated book.

Download the episode here.

Thanks so much for all of your great feedback on our TV coverage — we’re having the best time recording these episodes, discussing the show on Facebook, and hosting live tweets. Y’all are the best listeners in the world.

If you like what we do, consider supporting us on Patreon! In the meantime, you can always find us on Twitter @chamomilenclove or e-mail us at chamomileandclovecast@gmail.com. Until next time!

xoxo

Jen and Cait

Real Time Reading

Shadow of Night Real-Time Reading – 7 January – Chapter 19

unsplash-logoKazi Faiz Ahmed Jeem

Okay. This is the part where I admit that the calendar for the #RealTimeReading2018 (er, 2019?) of Shadow of Night confused me a bit — this chapter should have posted on 7 January, but I thought it was 12 January. That’s Chapter 20, and I am technically behind. Mea culpa.

Anyways. It’s time to meet Annie and Susanna and ask some big questions about Diana’s magic. Are you ready?

“I wish his good humor was more reliable. Matthew is mercurial these days. He’s possessive one moment and ignores me as if I were a piece of furniture the next.”

The etymology of the word “mercurial” indicates that it came into usage in the 14th century and derives form the Latin Mercurialis, “pertaining to the god Mercury, or having the form or qualities attributed to Mercury.” It means, “lively, volatile, or prone to quick changes of mood.” Interestingly, Diana’s modern use of the word to describe Matthew as “highly changeable” is slightly anachronistic — the English language apparently didn’t regularly apply the word to people until the 17th century.

Liquid mercury

Mercury (Hermes) was the messenger of the gods and the god of trade, merchants, commerce, roads, and thieves. Based on our enlightened and fascinating conversation about 16th century venereal diseases, you might recall that we used to treat all kinds of naughty-part nasty things with mercury (Hg). Mercury is highly mobile and very shiny and it takes its name from the planet Mercury, the fastest moving planet in the solar system. It’s highly toxic, but also really useful for its ability to conduct electricity. Would you like to know where we get mercury? Cinnabar. Hm. More on that later.

Mary and I had been deep in conversation about the images in a collection of alchemical texts known as the Pretiosa Margarita Novella — the New Pearl of Great Price.

Last summer, when we attended All Souls Con at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, I wish I’d known that they keep a copy of Pretiosa Margarita Novella in their rare book room. There are only six known complete manuscripts of this alchemical treatise surviving in the present day and, lucky for us, two of them are digitized: the Science History Institute copy and the copy belonging to the Getty Alchemy Collection.

The Pretiosa Margarita Novella presents arguments for and against alchemy and cites to a number of classical sources. If you wanted your own copy, you could purchase it from AbeBooks.com for $5,926.03 (used).

“An ancient specimen,” Henry said proudly. “It was among my curiosities, and I wanted you to have it. The intaglio is of the goddess Diana, you see.”

The All Souls Trilogy is rich with descriptions of the decorative arts–from furniture to portraits to jewelry–and Henry’s miniatures are no exception. We’ll skip the Hilliard bits, which we’ve already discussed, and move into a quick talk about intaglio jewelry. Intaglio refers to a decorative technique that is the opposite of cameo work — rather than creating a raised image on a decorative surface, the artist creates a recessed design, like a mold. Intaglio designs often appear on precious gems — they were a popular luxury art form in ancient times and experienced a renaissance during, well, the Renaissance.

Intaglio brooch from the Met Museum

The iconography of intaglio carvings often depicts gods, goddesses, and mythological scenes, so Henry’s Diana intaglio makes sense. There is a lovely example of a Diana intaglio in carnelian at The Jewellery Editor.

“I didn’t get the egg into the bowl, Mistress Norman,” I apologized. “The spells didn’t work.”

The still-wet chick set up a protest, one indignant peep after another.”


This is neither magical, nor directly on point, but I thought it was interesting — the “chicken and egg” causality dilemma first arose in Plutarch’s 1st century CE essay, “The Symposiacs.” The dilemma poses the question of origins and infinite sequences and has been solved, at least scientifically, by evolutionary biology. The answer is that the egg came first, laid by a not-quite-chicken. A dinosaur laid an egg that hatched a very ugly, toothy chicken. Then that toothy chicken laid another egg, which eventually laid its own eggs, and on and on. Forbes makes the following highly-philosophical point:

At what point did it become a chicken? It still isn’t a chicken, remember? There is no such thing as a chicken.

The eggs you buy at the store come from a small dinosaur that is still in the process of becoming what it will eventually become. It is the first of its kind. It is the last of its kind. Its children will not be chickens, any more than it is.

You heard it here, folks. There’s no such thing as a chicken. Only small dinosaurs capable of producing the base ingredient in custards, souffles, and omelettes.

If you like what we do, you can support us on Patreon to off-set our podcast hosting costs. You can also join our Facebook group, the Chamomile & Clove Clovers, or e-mail us at chamomileandclovecast@gmail.com. If you’re anxious for the premiere of A Discovery of Witches TV, please consider yourselves invited to our live tweet on 1/17 at 9pm. Use the hashtag #ccalchemy and make merry.

Until tomorrow, and Chapter 20,

xox
Cait