Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Medieval Hygiene 

With all the current concern about hand washing  and avoiding proximity to others I was interested to come across, by chance, an online article that looks at medieval practice. Setting aside the slightly jokey beginning and the irritating intrusion of advertisements it makes some good and balanced arguments that helps to reject the far too frequent, and unthinking, modern idea that everything was dirty, grimy, dull and crude in the period. 

Indeed I would add that for most of the western world not that much changed before 1900.

The article is "Medieval Hygiene: Practices Of The Middle Ages", and it can be viewed here: https://www.healthyway.com/content/medieval-hygiene-practices-of-the-middle-ages/

One book it cites is the truly enticing Ernest L. Sabine "Latrines and Cesspools of Mediaeval London"  I don’t think you could make that up, could you? Now is that not a Must Have book?

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