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Wed, Jun. 15th, 2016, 10:13 am
An entertaing read plus details for Tolkien fanficcers

I'm reading HOW TO BE A TUDOR by Ruth Goodman. She takes you from dawn to dusk, describing how people lived in that era. What were their beds like? How did they clean their teeth? How often did they change their underwear? It's fascinating stuff, but the most entertaining part is that Goodman does what I think is called Living History. That is, she tries to live for a time in the way she describes.

One experiment involved trying to figure out if people smelled worse than we do because they didn't usually get in a tub or shower. While filming a TV series, she wore all the period clothing while doing hard work. She rubbed her body down daily with a rough cloth and changed her smock (ie her slip-like underwear) once a week. She changed her hose only three times in six months. Apparently even the camera crew who was going home to the modern era at night found her acceptable to be around.

One of her colleagues did the opposite. He followed modern hygiene routines, showering, using deodorant etc, but wore the same clothes for several months without washing them. He apparently reeked.

I am imagining a YA novel in which the teen character has a mother who does this.

Wed, Jun. 15th, 2016 03:19 pm (UTC)
shirebound

How interesting!

Wed, Jun. 15th, 2016 07:47 pm (UTC)
dawtheminstrel

Isn't it? It's a very engaging read too.

Wed, Jun. 15th, 2016 06:56 pm (UTC)
curiouswombat

Are you able to see episodes of the BBC's 'Tudor Monastery Farm' anywhere? It is the TV series of those eight or nine months that Ruth Goodman lived as a Tudor, and was fascinating.

Wed, Jun. 15th, 2016 07:47 pm (UTC)
dawtheminstrel

I'll have to look around. Goodman amuses me no end. She knows what she's talking about and she was fearless in trying it out.

Wed, Jun. 15th, 2016 08:37 pm (UTC)
curiouswombat

She is well known on British TV for living history programmes - she has done a number of farming in different ages series - each one filmed over six to eight months of them living the life, and also one about life in a Victorian Pharmacy - all well worth watching.

Fri, Jul. 1st, 2016 12:26 am (UTC)
meckinock

That's really interesting about the smell. I've read some articles advocating a beauty/hygiene regimen which omits washing and evidently your body develops a symbiotic relationship with the healthy bacteria on your skin which keeps the smell down. Which makes sense; otherwise ancient people wouldn't have been able to stand one another.

Fri, Jul. 1st, 2016 12:31 am (UTC)
dawtheminstrel

The thing I wonder about is hair. Surely that develops a smell?