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For some time, it has been widespread medical practice to treat a range of psychological conditions, including depression and anxiety, with what might be called mind-altering drugs, namely selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

‘This is the West, Sir,’ says a reporter in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. ‘When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.’ This is very much the advice that has applied to Calamity Jane over the years.

Stonehenge after a snow shower. With not a soul in sight, the stark silhouetted stones brood across a white-bleached field under a dramatic sky. It’s one of the most startling images in The Hepworth Wakefield’s forthcoming exhibition.

Couples who have lost their spark could benefit from marriage counselling under the influence of the rave drug Ecstasy, academics have said. Brian Earp and Julian Savulescu, believe that Ecstasy, or MDMA, might help save “grey marriages”.

The drinks announced in the subtitle of this book evoke the charms of the Old World, but have recently made a comeback among bartenders and mixologists. Epstein narrates their history while liberating them from the dusty drinks cabinet.

What can the amount of buckling by a back express about the world of its bearer? How might oversized hands, merged with the woodgrain into which they are cut, articulate depression, economic and social?

In the first weeks of 1896, posters went up in Chicago advertising the “Greatest of all Attractions”. “See This Famous Woman”, read the tag line, “and Hear Her Graphic Description of Her Daring Exploits!”

We’re all destined to grow old – with wrinkled skin, expanding waistlines, thinning hair. In a culture fervently committed to the makeover narrative, in which “after” must always improve on “before”, such changes can feel like a betrayal.

[Katharina N.] Piechocki is conceptually rigorous, she reads many languages and her research is impeccable. She is a careful critic but also a deeply imaginative historian. This is a contribution to the “darker side” of cartography …

Book of Beasts is exceptional in that it can be enjoyed as a sumptuously illustrated coffee-table book, but also constitutes a valuable point of reference, and springboard for future research, for professional medievalists and for academics …