17th Century Female Spies Smuggled Information Through Eggs and Artichokes | Atlas Obscura

Source: 17th Century Female Spies Smuggled Information Through Eggs and Artichokes | Atlas Obscura

Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, sent letters filled with cryptography, ciphers, codes and invisible ink while she was in exile in The Hague. (Photo: Public Domain/Wikipedia Commons)

In the 17th century, espionage was more diverse than you might think. Not only did female spies exist, they employed some of the most fascinating techniques in their information gathering.

Forthcoming research into female spies that operated in Europe and England at the time shows that they utilized an ingenious arsenal of tools, such as eggs and artichokes, to smuggle secrets.

While Dr. Nadine Akkerman of Leiden University was examining letters sent by Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia during her exile in the Hague, she discovered that some were filled with secret codes. The ones delivered through official postal channels contained either false or largely superficial information, while the letters sent via Brussels and Antwerp were filled with ciphers and even…

Source: 17th Century Female Spies Smuggled Information Through Eggs and Artichokes | Atlas Obscura

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