Museum of London – 17th Century table
I had a good trip to London. Final count 74 manuscripts reviewed, and over 130 recipes found in those manuscripts (the number will rise slightly as I process them and catalog the variants as well as the main recipes). I reviewed manuscripts at three different libraries, the nice studio I stayed in was 5 minutes from the British Library and a nice 20-minute walk from the Royal College of Physicians, and an in-between 10 minutes to the Wellcome Library.
In addition to the manuscripts I looked at a half dozen or so books that I have found otherwise hard to access, and obtained some articles from periodicals. These include a book covering mead in Sweden during the Medieval period (Swedish anyone?)
Finally, visits to the Victoria & Albert Museum, City of London Museum, and the British Museum provided pictures of artifacts like barrels, pots, and drinking vessels, that help fill out my understanding of the equipment used in mead making.
The recipes themselves are mostly later, 17th and 18th century. So far I have not found anything that is truly new and different.
Back in reality, I am working hard on the draft for Wellcome Mead, batches of samples for my Homebrewcon presentation in June, starting a few more test batches (since I have been brewing very little), and trying to catch up on reviewing, transcribing, translating, cataloging, and all the tasks required to keep the data coming. And I’ve still got a long list of primary resources to investigate, including manuscripts from US and German sources, some searches to complete on Early English Books Online, and a number of European libraries whose holdings I have not fully searched.
The mead life is busy and rarely dull.