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Sweet and Clean? – Bodies and Clothes in Early Modern England - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Sweet and Clean?: Bodies and Clothes in Early Modern England

Susan North

Abstract

Sweet and Clean? Bodies and Clothes in Early Modern England challenges the widely held beliefs on bathing and cleanliness in the past. For over 30 years, the work of the French historian, George Vigarello, has been hugely influential on early modern European social history, describing an aversion to water and bathing, and the use of linen underwear as the sole cleaning agent for the body. However, these concepts do not apply to early modern England. Sweet and Clean? analyses etiquette and medical literature revealing repeated recommendations to wash or bathe in order to clean the skin. Clean l ... More

Keywords: Advice, bathing, cleanliness, disease, early modern England, health, laundry, linen, underwear

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780198856139
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198856139.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Susan North, author
Curator of Fashion, 1550-1800, Victoria and Albert Museum