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A Wandering Botanist: Dye Plant--Sawwort, Serratula tinctoria, Obscure Historic Yellow Dye

I was starting to think that maybe I didn’t want these plants in that flower bed when I leafed through Dominque Cardon’s book  Natural Dyes and found sawwort listed in the historic yellow dyes. “Since the Middle Ages, sawwort has been used in several European textile centers…In Tuscany in the 14th and 15th centuries it was as highly valued as weld as a dye for dyeing woollen cloth yellow and green.” (p. 178)

The Corset: Fashioning the Body - Museum at FIT

The corset is one of the most controversial items of clothing in the history of fashion. Worn by women throughout the western world from the late Renaissance into the 20th century, the corset was an essential element of fashionable dress. Dress reformers argued that women’s bodies were “deformed” by fashion; and most people today perceive the corset as having been an instrument of women’s oppression.

medieval-women:

Elizabeth Richeza of Poland

Queen of Bohemia and Poland

Born 1286 – Died 1335

Claim to fame: Twice widowed by age 21, Elizabeth survived whilst the men in her life fell like flies.

After the murder of her father, Przemysl II of Poland, nine year old Elizabeth (then known as Richeza) was the only surviving heir.

At fourteen, Elizabeth married Wenceslaus II of Bohemia and became Queen of Bohemia and Poland.

Five years later, Elizabeth gave birth to her only child Agnes. Within just a few days, her husband was dead from tuberculosis. Elizabeth took over as regent until her stepson could take the throne, but he was murdered shortly after becoming King. Elizabeth then married the next successor, Rudolf of Habsburg, who died from dysentery the following year. Elizabeth was left with her dowry towns and a huge amount of money by Rudolf’s father, who was murdered shortly after.

As her relations grappled for the Bohemian throne, Elizabeth settled outside of Prague with her lover Jindřich of Lipá. They spent many happy years together until his death in 1329.

Elizabeth was very influential in her final years, supporting churches, convents and the production of illustrated hymn books.

She is buried in Brno beside her beloved Jindřich.



Madecki, R., (2011). The Poles and polonophiles in the history of Brno and Southern Moravia.

Mahoney, M., (2011). The History of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Greenwood, California.

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