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I: Mr B. Finds Pamela Writing. Joseph Highmore, oil on canvas (Part of four scenes of Richardson’s Pamela). Tate Britain, N03573

Entr’acte: an intermission.

Note: In this series, I describe the process I used to arrive at my conclusions and assemble the materials for my impression of pharmacist Elizabeth Weed. I strive to explicate a process of research, questioning, and reasoning that may be applied to any impression. Here’s a guide to what I’ve written thus far, and what I plan to write.

Part One: Been employed these several years past provides an introduction to the project

Part Two: may depend on being supplied explores some of the primary and secondary sources I used and questions I asked of those sources

Part Three: shop medicines, ointments, and salves examines some of the sources for 18th century remedies, and the material culture of pharmacies and healing practioners

Part Four: The Material World of Widow Weed looks at the pieces I assembled: the clothing and the choices I made for gown, hat, mantelet, apron and accessories, as well choices I made for the remedies and their presentation.

Part Five: The Widow will See You Now looks at the implementation, that is, how I chose to interact with the public, what I learned as I talked to 1200-1500 people over the course of two days, and how Drunk Tailor and I used the Anarchist’s Guide principles to inform our interactions.

Part Six will look at how these same principles and processes can be used to inform any impression you take up, with the hope that it will inspire the reader to look for new ways to add depth to living history. The fun isn’t only in the making or the performance, it’s also in the rehearsal of the research, and in assembling these scraps from the past into a living, breathing whole.