adowtv, Podcast, TV Show News

Episode 37 – A Discovery of Witches TV 1×01 – Interiority Spiders

The wait is finally over! A Discovery of Witches TV is LIVE in the United States and Canada! Thank you to everyone who joined us for our inaugural live tweet — we’re so excited to have shared the premiere with you tonight.

Because we know you CAN’T WAIT to talk about this phenomenal episode, we’re giving you our first episode of TV coverage RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

Download the episode here.


As we mentioned in the episode, you can learn more about All Souls Con by visiting If you’re inclined to become a Clover, you can join our Facebook group at 

Finally, if you’re interested, you can support us on Patreon for $1 a month. As a Clover, you’ll receive a personalized postcard from us and access to any special content we produce in the coming months. We’re so incredibly grateful for your support and can’t wait to keep talking about these incredible characters in the weeks to come.



Cait and Jen


Episode 36 – 100% Dad

unsplash-logoVincent van Zalinge

Happy new episode day, Clovers!

In this episode, we’re covering Chapters 37-39 of Shadow of Night — the wonderful (STEPHEN), magical (CORRA), and heartbreaking (JACK) moments that bring us one step closer to the end of this complicated book.

Download this week’s episode here.

If you’d like to get involved with our other fans, take our polls, and give your input about things like scheduling live tweets, head over to our Facebook group. You can also follow us on Twitter at @chamomilenclove, e-mail us at, or become a patron on Patreon.

As of today, we’re only THREE SLEEPS AND A WAKE UP from the U.S. and Canada premiere of A Discovery of Witches TV. That means we’re only four days from our live tweet of Episode 1×01 and the beginning of a whole year of ADOWTV fun.

Enjoy the episode and happy Sunday!


Cait and Jen

Real Time Reading

Shadow of Night Real-Time Reading – 12 January – Chapter 20


Phoebe found the quiet at Sotheby’s Bond Street offices unsettling this Tuesday night. Though she’d been working at the London auction house for two weeks, she was still not accustomed to the building.

Sotheby’s, founded 1744, is the second-oldest international auction house in continuous operation (or maybe the fourth?). It does approximately $2 billion in sales annually and serves as a clearing house for fine and decorative art, jewelry, real estate, and collectibles.

The London office of the auction house moved to Bond Street in 1917 — and there it remains. The auction house began by selling off the great libraries of the deceased — including the library of the Earl of Pembroke. The move to Bond Street, the hub of the London art world, encouraged the owners of Sotheby’s to expand their coinnoiseurship and expertise into the realm of fine art. Sotheby’s has a history of selling Hilliard miniatures — this lovely portrait of a noblewoman sold in 2010 for 121,250 GBP.

“Where is Sylvia?” The blue eyes narrowed.

“At the ballet. Coppelia, I believe.”

The ballet Coppelia tells the story of Franz, Swanhilda, and the mysterious “daughter” of Dr. Coppelius, who is trying to animate a doll in a non-creepy way. Right. It’s presented as a comedy, but it definitely has some sinister undertones. Because Jen and I are both hopeless balletomanes, I can’t help but give you the Bolshoi’s delightful Dance of the Hours and the Act III female variation danced by Natalia Osipova.

As soon as the click sounded, Whitmore pushed his way through. He was dressed for a club in Soho, with his black jeans, vintage gray U2 t-shirt, and a ridiculous pair of high-top Converse trainers (also gray).

Today, for a change in programming, I present you with a build-your-own Marcus outfit kit.

  • A vintage U2 band tee in gray ($25) on Poshmark (likely from the ZOO tour)
  • Cait’s actual, factual no-fail black jeans ($49.97) at GAP
  • Charcoal Chuck Taylor All Star High-Tops ($43.64) on Amazon
  • Leather cord necklace ($7.49) on Amazon (teeth of yellow fever victims NOT included). You could, however, add one of these guys.

“That’s the best offer I’ve had in some time.” Whitmore’s mouth twitched. “If we’re going to proceed according to Hoyle, though, I think you should call me Marcus.”

Edmond Hoyle, 1672-1769, wrote the definitive eighteenth century rules for how to play cards. The phrase “according to Hoyle” denotes doing something according to accepted standards or rules. He wrote extensively on the laws of whist, a game you might recognize from the pages of Austen. In fact, Hoyle’s book on whist became so definitive that his name is synonymous with doing things by-the-book — his imitators put his name on rule books for games (like poker) that weren’t even invented during his lifetime.

As you well know, Phoebe and Marcus have plenty more to tell us in Time’s Convert. We won’t say more…. yet.

If you like what we do, you can support us on Patreon to off-set our podcast hosting costs. You can also join our Facebook group, the Chamomile & Clove Clovers, or e-mail us at If you’re anxious for the premiere of A Discovery of Witches TV, please consider yourselves invited to our live tweet on 1/17 at 9pm. Use the hashtag #ccalchemy and make merry.

Until 18 January and Chapter 22,


Real Time Reading

Shadow of Night Real-Time Reading – 7 January – Chapter 19

unsplash-logoKazi Faiz Ahmed Jeem

Okay. This is the part where I admit that the calendar for the #RealTimeReading2018 (er, 2019?) of Shadow of Night confused me a bit — this chapter should have posted on 7 January, but I thought it was 12 January. That’s Chapter 20, and I am technically behind. Mea culpa.

Anyways. It’s time to meet Annie and Susanna and ask some big questions about Diana’s magic. Are you ready?

“I wish his good humor was more reliable. Matthew is mercurial these days. He’s possessive one moment and ignores me as if I were a piece of furniture the next.”

The etymology of the word “mercurial” indicates that it came into usage in the 14th century and derives form the Latin Mercurialis, “pertaining to the god Mercury, or having the form or qualities attributed to Mercury.” It means, “lively, volatile, or prone to quick changes of mood.” Interestingly, Diana’s modern use of the word to describe Matthew as “highly changeable” is slightly anachronistic — the English language apparently didn’t regularly apply the word to people until the 17th century.

Liquid mercury

Mercury (Hermes) was the messenger of the gods and the god of trade, merchants, commerce, roads, and thieves. Based on our enlightened and fascinating conversation about 16th century venereal diseases, you might recall that we used to treat all kinds of naughty-part nasty things with mercury (Hg). Mercury is highly mobile and very shiny and it takes its name from the planet Mercury, the fastest moving planet in the solar system. It’s highly toxic, but also really useful for its ability to conduct electricity. Would you like to know where we get mercury? Cinnabar. Hm. More on that later.

Mary and I had been deep in conversation about the images in a collection of alchemical texts known as the Pretiosa Margarita Novella — the New Pearl of Great Price.

Last summer, when we attended All Souls Con at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, I wish I’d known that they keep a copy of Pretiosa Margarita Novella in their rare book room. There are only six known complete manuscripts of this alchemical treatise surviving in the present day and, lucky for us, two of them are digitized: the Science History Institute copy and the copy belonging to the Getty Alchemy Collection.

The Pretiosa Margarita Novella presents arguments for and against alchemy and cites to a number of classical sources. If you wanted your own copy, you could purchase it from for $5,926.03 (used).

“An ancient specimen,” Henry said proudly. “It was among my curiosities, and I wanted you to have it. The intaglio is of the goddess Diana, you see.”

The All Souls Trilogy is rich with descriptions of the decorative arts–from furniture to portraits to jewelry–and Henry’s miniatures are no exception. We’ll skip the Hilliard bits, which we’ve already discussed, and move into a quick talk about intaglio jewelry. Intaglio refers to a decorative technique that is the opposite of cameo work — rather than creating a raised image on a decorative surface, the artist creates a recessed design, like a mold. Intaglio designs often appear on precious gems — they were a popular luxury art form in ancient times and experienced a renaissance during, well, the Renaissance.

Intaglio brooch from the Met Museum

The iconography of intaglio carvings often depicts gods, goddesses, and mythological scenes, so Henry’s Diana intaglio makes sense. There is a lovely example of a Diana intaglio in carnelian at The Jewellery Editor.

“I didn’t get the egg into the bowl, Mistress Norman,” I apologized. “The spells didn’t work.”

The still-wet chick set up a protest, one indignant peep after another.”

This is neither magical, nor directly on point, but I thought it was interesting — the “chicken and egg” causality dilemma first arose in Plutarch’s 1st century CE essay, “The Symposiacs.” The dilemma poses the question of origins and infinite sequences and has been solved, at least scientifically, by evolutionary biology. The answer is that the egg came first, laid by a not-quite-chicken. A dinosaur laid an egg that hatched a very ugly, toothy chicken. Then that toothy chicken laid another egg, which eventually laid its own eggs, and on and on. Forbes makes the following highly-philosophical point:

At what point did it become a chicken? It still isn’t a chicken, remember? There is no such thing as a chicken.

The eggs you buy at the store come from a small dinosaur that is still in the process of becoming what it will eventually become. It is the first of its kind. It is the last of its kind. Its children will not be chickens, any more than it is.

You heard it here, folks. There’s no such thing as a chicken. Only small dinosaurs capable of producing the base ingredient in custards, souffles, and omelettes.

If you like what we do, you can support us on Patreon to off-set our podcast hosting costs. You can also join our Facebook group, the Chamomile & Clove Clovers, or e-mail us at If you’re anxious for the premiere of A Discovery of Witches TV, please consider yourselves invited to our live tweet on 1/17 at 9pm. Use the hashtag #ccalchemy and make merry.

Until tomorrow, and Chapter 20,


Real Time Reading

Shadow of Night – Real-Time Reading – 31 December – Chapter 18

unsplash-logoScott Rodgerson

Today in the Real Time Reading of Shadow of Night, it’s time to descend into the crypt and meet Father Hubbard. I hope your New Year’s Eve plans are better than Matthew and Diana’s…

“She’s taken over one of the castle’s towers and painted the walls with images of the philosopher’s stone. It’s like working inside a Ripley scroll! I’ve seen the Beinecke’s copy at Yale, but it’s only twenty feet long. Mary’s murals are twice as big. It made it hard to focus on the work.”

In the Real-Time Reading Companion, Deb shares some personal photographs of the Ripley scrolls from the Yale copy Diana mentions in the text. George Ripley was a renowned alchemist whose poetry adorns the “Ripley scrolls,” a series of illustrated manuscripts showing the stages of creation of the philosopher’s stone. There is no evidence that Ripley actually created the scrolls; the 15th century original attributed to him has been lost.

I had planned to include photos from one of the scrolls, but Google beat me at my own game. I highly recommend the Google tour of the British Library’s Ripley Scroll, which is interactive and beautifully-rendered. One can only imagine the color and detail Diana noticed on the walls of Mary’s laboratory.

You can also explore other copies of the scrolls via the Bodelian’s website. Because they’re the best.

“We hunted the green lion.”

As Diana tells us in the text, the hunt for the “green lion” refers to the point in the process of creating the philosopher’s stone where alchemists combined two acid solutions (usually green vitriol, distilled from copper sulfate and something else) capable of dissolving anything (save gold).

Symbolically, the dissolution of substances in green vitriol is said to represent the purification of the innermost self — the stripping away of torment to reveal the “golden self” within.

“Andrew Hubbard is a former priest, one with a poor education and enough grasp of theology to cause trouble. He became a vampire when the plague first came to London. It had killed nearly half the city by 1349. Hubbard survived the first wave of the epidemic, caring for the sick and burying the dead, but in time he succumbed.”

Andrew Hubbard succumbed to the first outbreak of the plague to reach England in the twelfth century. According to the BBC, the plague entered the country in its bubonic form and then transformed into pneumonic form by the winter. Bubonic plague results from the bites of infected fleas (delightful) — the bacteria move from the flea bite to the nearest lymph node before attacking the rest of the body. Pneumonic plague spreads through infected droplets inhaled by the unwary — it’s harder to control because it’s passed from person to person. Matthew’s stats are correct — the first plague to hit London killed 40,000 people within eighteen months.

The medieval plague devastated England — especially the poor. Survivors buried the dead in mass graves with children occupying the small spaces between adults. During this period, many believed that the plague was evidence of the wrath of God, so outward observances of religion increased. Unfortunately, pilgrimages and other religious processions did little but spread the disease between communities. The plague had lasting impacts on the structure of English society, including changes in agriculture and religious observance, that determined English history into the present day.

Hubbard’s cold glance touched my neck, taking in the scar there. For once I wished Francoise had outfitted me with the largest ruff she could find. He exhaled in an icy gust smelling of cinnabar and fir before his wide mouth tightened, the edges of his lips turning from pale peach to white.

Cinnabar is the solid form of mercury sulfide, an ore often used to refine mercury for commercial use. It is also the source of brilliant red pigments, such as vermilion. The Met has a great resource on the use of cinnabar in art and pigment making. I couldn’t find anything to tell me what it smells like, precisely, but the fact that it’s normally sourced from volcanic soil makes me think it smells rocky and mildly sulfuric. Unsurprisingly–given the world of the AST, at least–cinnabar was prized by alchemists because of its unusual properties and because it supplied mercury.

Jen and I hope that you have a wonderful, prosperous new year — one that doesn’t start with someone threatening you and your family in a crypt in the middle of the night. In fact, we hope that your 2019 is full of blessings and good luck. We can’t wait to celebrate with you and continue exploring this amazing world together in the new year.

Happy 2019!