Fire and Cauldrons, with Ruth Goodman
Play • 59 min

The Sword Guy Podcast, episode 44

Ruth Goodman is a social and domestic historian working with museums, theatre, television and educational establishments. She has presented and consulted on several highly successful television series for the BBC. She has also written several excellent books we'll be talking about today, including The Domestic Revolution, How to be a Tudor and How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England.

In this episode, Ruth and I talk about some of the lesser known, but nonetheless fascinating aspects of life in the Middle Ages, without what we think of “essential” cleaning products, or temperature controlled ovens. Yet people did get their clothes properly clean, and they were able to bake excellent cakes, pastries and bread. Ruth explains how they did this, and the type of learning that has been largely lost nowadays.

In our wide-ranging conversation, we also cover the importance of sheds, leaving kids in forests, giving knives to toddlers, and understanding fire. Ruth has a special passion for medieval cauldrons. Here’s a picture:

We also talk about how people would have dressed and moved at this time, all of which is very relevant if you are interested in martial arts from this, or any other period of history. We discuss how to research when there aren’t many sources available – as it turns out, there are many ways to skin a rabbit.

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work check out his website at

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