Metheglin Press  
 

Why "Metheglin Press"?

Metheglin comes from the old Welsh meddyglyn. While this is a brewed drink, metheglin also means mead or honey wine.

When raw sewage entered rivers, storm drains, and groundwater, brewed or fermented drinks were the only safe beverages. The well-to-do could afford first drafts or pressings, while everyone else bought second pressings.

Metheglin Press issues complete second pressings of original reference books for all who need first-hand information but cannot afford the original editions.

Merchants Almanac of 1622

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Merchants Almanac of 1622

In the Great Britain of Elizabeth I, of Shakespeare or Sir Francis Drake, British Civil Law unified the country. Great Britain and most other civilized countries also observed two world-wide, unwritten agreements, the ancient customs of Merchant- and Admiralty Law. Even foreign despots respected these ancient laws; only brigands and pirates ignored them.

The British Crown established  weight, purity, and conversion rate of the Pound Sterling. Royal mints coined shillings and smaller silver coins. Local mints made copper coins locally; and those coins varied from shire to shire and from town to town. Foreign rulers clung to the names of their currencies but often changed weights and alloys to enrich themselves.

How did merchants trade in a world without standards? They carried a touchstone, a fixed length of rope, and their own scales and weights. They traveled over unpaved, unsafe roads and on uncharted seas. Ships held an east-west course by compass, but no captain knew how far he had sailed in a day. He lowered sails at dusk and raised them at sunrise to keep from running into unseen shorelines.

Merchant Gerard Malynes was seventy, successful, and respected. He left this textbook as road map and legacy for young merchants. He shows us his world, and we see Shakespeare's plays and Francis Drake's exploits in the context of their age.

Complete original text with original spelling and modern alphabetical  index, 492 pages.

 

$22.50

 

Snails, Sex & Sermons

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Snails, Sex and Sermons in 1744

Friedrich Christian Lesser, the Senior Pastor of the Church of Saints Jacob and Martin at Nordhausen, had an unusual hobby: he observed and recorded the lives of snails and shells. This brought him in direct conflict with the revered teachings of Aristotle.

Aristotle had taught that snails and shells are generated by slime on the soil or scum on seawater.

Watching the snails in his garden mate and lay eggs, Pastor Lesser found fault with Aristotle's conclusions. Lesser used observation and record-keeping, then an unconventional approach to biology, but one we still use to this day.

Lesser wrapped every biology lesson in a sermon. This allowed him to contradict long-held beliefs, discuss the sex life of snails, and keep his job.

On page 1080, Pastor Lesser wrote: "This book was printed in a distant town. Therefore, the author could not correct mistakes and begs the reader to correct them himself." Nordhausen, his hometown, was 64 miles from the printer's shop at Leipzig. 32 pages.

$5.00

 

Arts, Crafts and Hobbies, 1850 - 1870

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Arts, Crafts and Hobbies, 1850 - 1870

A self-help book for all crafts and hobbies.

Here are descriptions of ingredients, preparation and use of cements, glues, paints, ink, and blacking, with instructions for paperhanging, painting, glass and metal work. Learn to make storage batteries or learn electro-plating or photography--all "from scratch."

The author gives brand names of good quality tools and chemicals. He describes many manufacturing processes in detail; they were clearly not patented.

360 pages with index and glossary of  obscure terms.

$12.50

 

Healthy Living, 1850 - 1870
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Healthy Living, 1850 - 1870

Before Lister's asepsis and before chloroform was used for pain control, accident prevention was the best guarantee of a healthy life. Dr. Youman's detailed diagnoses, medications and treatments inspire no confidence in medical practice of his time. It is a miracle our ancestors survived these cures.

Check recipes for medicines, cosmetics, and household chemicals of drugstores and pharmacies in pre-Civil War America.

239 pages with index and glossary of obscure terms.

$11.95

 

House and Home

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House & Home 1850 - 1870

           "A woman's work is never done,"

was the motto of every 1850s household. When fourteen or fifteen year-old girls followed their new husbands to a homestead or to the frontier, they faced more than never-ending work. They left behind helpful relatives or neighbors and all  the familiar stores.

How did these young women learn the skills they had not needed at home? How did they make candles or soap from left-over grease? How did they preserve foods for the winter ahead? How did they--pregnant at least every other year--bear the burden of that existence?

If they could read, this book taught them to cope.

295 pages with index and glossary of obscure terms

 

$11.95

 

Successful Farming 1850 - 1870

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Successful Farming 1850 - 1870

Tales of cheap land drew young farmers, city dwellers, and new immigrants west. Most were unprepared for living off the land, and even the best hunters had to learn tanning and preserving the hides of the game they killed for their first meal. Horses, mules or oxen had brought them to the new land. What if an animal took sick? How does one build house or barn? When should the inexperienced farmer plant? When should he harvest? 

As long as one family member could read, this book taught all the basics and many extended skills.

280 pages with index and glossary of obscure terms.

 

$11.95

 

Planned and Unplanned Parenthood

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Planned and Unplanned Parenthood 1850 - 1870

The original book is stitched between two layers of  soft leather. Contents, below, suggest that a parent might remove the section on infant care and diseases. If not, what sensible young woman would marry after reading it all?

Premarital sex education during the Victorian age covered flowers, insects, birds, and quadrupeds; Dr. Youman's illustrations show pistils, stamen, animals' ovaries, and oviducts. He reiterates that only fertilization results in offspring and explains at length how plants are fertilized. How are the ova of all other living things fertilized? City-bred young ladies found out after they married.

Dr. Youman has advice about infant care, the need for abstinence, a cure for masturbation and all other ills that might befall young people. He describes home treatments for lost limbs, urinary infections, and venereal diseases. Should  the latter treatments be ineffective, he advises the sufferer to see a competent physician. The doctor's despair about widespread, incurable VD permeates this text. 

213 pages, illustrations and index.

 

$12.50

 

Spells and Incantations of Yesteryear

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Spells and Incantations of Yesteryear

Cagliostro, the purported author of these spells, was an enigma in his lifetime and remains a puzzle to this day. The editor of this book is nameless.

Count Cagliostro, 1743-1795, was revered by some and despised by others.

Jesuits and the Papal Inquisition called him Guiseppe Balsamo, who swindled a jeweler and graduated to more heinous crimes.

Theosophists and Masons do not know his birth name but note his well publicized arrival in Rome at age twenty-two. He was then fluent in ancient and Near Eastern languages and knew chemistry and medicine. Roman high society welcomed him and he married a socialite.

His fame embroiled him in French politics and his newly founded Masonic Lodge in Rome troubled the Holy See. The Papal Inquisition condemned him to death and he died in prison.

Believers used the spells and charms in this book to view a future spouse, to ward off furious beasts, to learn the sex of an unborn child, and many other unknowable facts.

The unnamed editor balanced these spells by debunking some of the famous psychic phenomena of the mid-nineteenth century.

$10.00

 

 
 
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