W. M.

The Queens Closet Opened: Incomparable Secrets in Physick, Chirurgery, Preserving, and Candying, &c. which were Presented unto the Queen by the Most Experienced Persons of the Times, Many Whereof were had in Esteem When She Pleased to Descend to Private Recreations.

Corrected and reviewed, with many new additions. London: Printed by J. G. for Nath. Brooke, 1664. The Queen referred to is Henrietta Maria, consort of Charles I. References: Wing (2nd ed.) 100B. Includes index. Leaf E5 mutilated, bottom half torn away; leaves A1, E6 and E7 wanting.

There are strange prescriptions in this fascinating 17th century household book, which focuses primarily on medical matters and is the equal of many similar contemporary books. Some of the remedies prescribed are most interesting to present day readers. "A Drink for a Hot Fever" is made as follows: "Take Spring-water and red Rose-water, of each one pint and a half, the juyce of three Lemmons, and white Sugarcandy one ounce, and mix them together." Many of the remedies advanced are validated by well-known people's experiences, such as "A Drink for the Plague. . .proved by the Countess of Arundel in the year 1603," and "The Bishop of Worcesters admirably curing Powder." A treatment for consumption begins with instructions to "take a peck of garden shell-snails, wash them in small beer, put them into a great Iron dripping-pan, and set them on the hot fire of Charcoals, and keep them constantly stirring till they make no noise at all;. . .then take a quart of Earth-worms, rip them with a knife, and scour them with salt.

Subjects: Medicinal plants; Therapeutics.


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