Susan & I have posted extensively about bathing. In our Annals of Bathing, We’ve looked at historical hygiene from various angles. (If you missed that investigation, you can get caught up by checking out Episodes One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six.) In the process of answering our readers’ questions, we learned that finding extant pre-Victorian bathrooms is tricky—mainly because so many of the houses were modernized.
She, it seems was the life of the party, a cultivated, socially adept woman who amply compensated for her spouse’s unsparkling, reclusive personality. After she died, the grieving king lost interest in Hampton Court Palace. His successor, King George III, hated it. Since the second George was the last British monarch to live here, it didn't undergo much in the way of transformation. It's had a few restorations, but the rooms are much as they were then, with many of the same furnishings in their original places.
This means that, among other things, we can see a not-modern bathroom—if one takes a peek through the doors at the back of the Queen’s Dressing Room.
Queen Caroline liked to bathe—and here’s evidence that for her, this meant full-body bathing—to an extent that wasn't usual at the time in England and was considered rather strange. The wooden bathtub is a replica. (Note the linens lining it.) The marble thing at the back is a cistern for cold water.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.