Another highly entertaining trawl through the byways of English history by the author of The Strange Laws of Old England. The history of medicine in Britain is full of the most bizarre cures for all manner of ailments, from the plague to the pox. A 16th century cure for dizziness was: Take a young swallow from her nest when the crescent moon is in Virgo; cut off the head and let the blood run into a vessel containing frankincense; then give it to the patient when the moon is waning. But amidst all the eccentric – and sometimes lethal! – treatments there were some that, incredibly, seemed to work; and they form the basis of many of the medicines we know today.