Love: a curious history in 50 objects by Edward Brooke-Hitching
From prehistoric carvings and ancient Egyptian statues, to medieval spell books and Victorian code-writing, this unique collection gathers a wealth of curious objects and surprising stories to trace the story of love through the ages. Discover the royal marriage that crossed the boundary of death in 14th-century Portugal, the judicial duels between husbands and wives in Early Modern Europe, the love spells found in medieval manuscripts, and the romantic codes hidden in some of art's greatest masterpieces.
Meet the feared ancient Greek army regiment comprised entirely of male couples; the French pirate queen avenging her murdered husband; the first woman to sail around the world; and the quack sexologist who conned 18th-century London with his musical mechanical bed. Here are ancient gods, mythical monsters, the Elizabethan portraits of smiling men on fire and the erotic paintings hidden beneath the ash of Pompeii, as well as Nigerian wedding chains, Welsh love spoons, cryptic postcards and the centuries-old cartographic tradition of mapping the heart.