Foul Facts From The Perilous Past

Tracey Turner
Published by English Heritage, paperback, £7.99

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Did you know that if you were a bit hard of hearing in medieval times, one remedy was to leave a dead eel to rot in horse manure, then stick the rotten eel in your ear?

Did you know that if a Roman slave gave evidence in a law court, the evidence was only valid if the slave had been tortured first?

Did you know that Vikings washed their clothes in cow urine?

These are just a few of the weird, wonderful and often humourous facts from bygone days contained in an exhaustively researched book.

The facts stretch back to the prehistoric age right up to the 20th century.

One of the most bizarre facts from the latter period was that Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi death squad, the SS, suggested that its officers should wear bells at night, so that any little creatures might hear them and run away without being trodden on.

This is a perfect book to dip into to discover how disgusting and revolting humans can be.

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