In ‘The Arsenic Eaters’, Simon Brugner investigates the widespread historical belief that the consumption of arsenic, one of the most potent mineral poisons, is beneficial to one’s health. Many “poison eaters” were found among the pre-20th century rural population in the eastern parts of the Alps (especially in Styria, Austria). Still accessible arsenic mines in that region date back as far as the 14th century. Arsenic eaters were robust people, usually from the lower classes of society. They ingested arsenic to be strong and healthy, to look rosy and to boost their sexual potency. Living off the mountains subjected them to physical hardship. Eating arsenic made them more resilient.