Posts Tagged ‘Borodino’

The Flare Path: Flèche Wounds

By Tim Stone on September 7th, 2012.

In the Spring of 1813 the inhabitants of the Russian village of Borodino noticed a new flower speckling their fields and verges. Resembling a buttercup but with crimson rather than golden petals, the blooms gave off a perfume that pricked eyes and turned stomachs. A nauseating mix of crushed flint and tanners’ urea, burnt wool and butchers’ leavings, the odour clung to clothes, unnerved horses and tainted milk. It drove away butterflies and bees. Only one creature seemed to like the smell. Moscow newspapers of the period contain vivid descriptions of vast clouds of blowflies rising from the city’s slums and midden heaps and swirling westward. Read the rest of this entry »

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