Those cute mandrake babies in Harry Potter have a long, very long history. So do Rowling's references to herbals, unicorn horns, and philosopher's stones. The National Library of Medicine is hosting an exhibit that puts Harry back into the Renaissance. While early-modern culture hardly needs the Harry Potter series to be interesting, it's an ingenious way to get the library's collections out in front of a larger audience. And if it helps convince young readers and other curious minds that there is much to marvel at in early-modern medicine and science...I'm all for it!
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