Phillipa Ogden

Ulrich von Liechtenstein once toured Southern Europe on a jousting trip, referred to as “The Journey of Venus”. He dressed as a woman and alledgedly broke 307 lances. For each knight that broke a lance on him he gifted them a gold ring. (Pixabay/clarencealford)

Ulrich von Liechtenstein: Was he Real?

Ulrich von Liechtenstein was made famous by Heath Ledger in the film A Knight’s Tale. Did you know he was a real person? His real life exploits were arguably more outrageous than those portrayed by Hollywood.

The countess, having taken a dose of laudanum nears death, and is kissed by her sickly child held towards her by an elderly maid; her father slips her ring from her finger. Engraving by Louis Gérard Scotin after William Hogarth, 1745. (Source: Science Museum, London)

Laudanum: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian Super Drug

In an era before the invention of aspirin, painkillers and sleeping tablets, to be in pain was a thoroughly unpleasant experience. Laudanum’s medical role, as a tool for pain management in sickness and end-of-life care, was crucial.

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