Friday, February 26, 2016

Tudor Era Cleanliness

Friday, February 26, 2016
Frances, Lady Bridges 1587
Loretta reports:

Looking at the title of this post, some readers will wonder what cleanliness has to do with the Tudor era. It tends to be assumed that our forebears were dirtier and smellier than we are.

As has been pointed out in a number of 2NHG posts,* this may not be the wholly correct picture. It turns out that the lives of our ancestors are not always what we supposed they were. Sometimes our assumptions are mostly true, sometimes there’s an element of truth, and sometimes what we take to be true is, essentially, historical myth.

How To Be a Tudor
Certainly, this piece by historian Ruth Goodman, on Tudor-era cleanliness, made me rethink my ideas about the Tudor era. I offer it in place of the Friday Video.

Ruth Goodman, by the way, has written other books about her experiences living the life of the past. How To Be a Tudor  is the most recent. How To Be a Victorian is next in line on my History Books TBR shelf.

*Some samples of our posts about cleanliness are here, here, here, here, and here.

Image: (Unknown artist) Frances, Lady Bridges 1587, courtesy Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.


Ann said...

Glad you found this book! You can search YouTube for Ruth Goodman videos, including THE TUDOR MONASTARY FARM (1505) and SECRETS OF THE CASTLE (14th century), or her Farm series (Victorian, Edwardian, Wartime -- WWII) or the Victorian Pharmacy. All are worth watching.

Susan Chapek said...

Thanks for this post. This (fairly new) subscriber to your blog especially appreciated the collected links to your other articles on the History of Clean. The series made the perfect accompaniment to my morning coffee.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for sharing Ruth Gordon's book excerpt with us. Her findings are fascinating, and now I will be able to refute that "Medieval and Tudor people stank all the time" myth.

Your blog has been a mainstay of my "first thing in the morning" routine for more than 2 years now, and I'm so very glad that I stumbled across it back then. It is rare that I don't learn something new from Two Nerdy History Girls. :-)

MaryJeanAdams said...

Not to be indelicate, but our modern reliance on deodorant is a bit of a scam, too.

One Hour Device Repair said...

I have been reading social history for 60 years and this is a remarkable work, by the historical consultant to the TV series "Wolf Hall."An amazing book by someone who has actually lived like a person in Tudor times. A revelation on page after page.

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