14th to the 17th Centuries. Unwashed bodies liberally perfumed to mask the odour, dirty clothes, stinking privies, flea ridden beds and filthy houses where dogs scrabble for bones tossed by uncouth diners onto the ancient rushes covering the floor. This is the public perception of hygiene for the entire period between the Romans who were always in the bath, and the Victorians who thought cleanliness was next to godliness. This perception owes much to Hollywood, the media, second rate historical novels, and to some historians and people in the heritage business who should know better. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, even otherwise well educated people persist in believeing the worst about the cleanliness of our ancestors. At the same time it is a subject most people find very interesting and frequently ask questions about.
These notes are compiled from snippets of information I have athered from a range on mainly primary sources in an attempt to provide sufficient information to at least partially answer some of the questions asked by the public. The period covered centres on the Tudor and Jacobean eras, but with material from the 14th to the later 17th century included. However as there were no real fads or fashions in bathing or laundering, and few innovations in plumbing, most peoples experience in this area changed little over the centuries.
- Softcover:16 pages
- Language: English
- Illustrations: Black & White/Line Illustrations
- ISBN-13: 9781858041612
- Product Dimensions:21.0 x 14.5 x 0.2 cm