Ancient Greek and Roman texts make references to Indian cotton. It was initially described as a tree that grew wool; some ancient accounts claimed that the cotton plant was a kind of shrub that grew tiny sheep that grazed on the grass below. That legacy survives in the German term for cotton, Baumwolle, which literally translates in English as “tree wool.” Cotton was one of the commodities cultivated in India and traded to the ancient Greeks and Romans. In fact, large quantities of Roman coins have been found in Indian archeological sites.
Indian cotton is a familiar commodity to Miriam as well. In her novels, well-dressed characters often wear cotton rather than wool, and the best homes dress their dining tables with cotton. For example, in The Deadliest Lie, when Miriam finds her brother Binyamin, he is wearing Indian cotton:
I didn’t have to look far for Binyamin. His expletives were billowing out of the library like smoke from the lighthouse. When I peeked in from the courtyard, he was sitting at the now-scarred cherry wood table, the restrained northern light backlighting his face. He was wearing a green sleeveless, knee-length tunic of fine Indian cotton girded at the waist with a leather belt, which, like his sandals, was studded with multicolored Alexandrine glass beads.
But wait till you see the elaborate foods served on bleached Indian cotton cloths. The gold-leaf platters, silver dishes, and crystal goblets will dazzle you along with the food and table linen. You’re invited you know. Just click here.