by admin on April 16, 2011

louis xiv

here is an astonishing fact:  in the 17th century, washing in water was considered dangerous, and baths were taken perhaps a few times per YEAR if at all!  it was thought that bathing opened the pores, and this made one more susceptible to the plague.  contrast this to the egyptians, who bathed several times per day. now who would you rather date?

the french king’s morning ablutions consisted of rubbing his face with a cotton cloth soaked in diluted alcohol (gin? vodka? whiskey? white wine?).  i realize that americans in general and esme in particular are probably at the extreme end of cleanliness among humans, but still!  all i can say is bliiiiiiiiiick!  on the other hand, imagine the water they saved!!

another odd  17th century french practice was that the king dressed in public.  different courtiers would hand him each of his garments, and consider it a privilege to do so.  kind of like those studies where they put a video-cam in peoples’ bedrooms…..if we continued this practice today, the king’s habillement would appear on u-tube every morning.  imagine the influence that would have on what people would wear that day!


(note:  information taken from SURVEY OF HISTORIC COSTUME, by tortora and eubank—lovely book!)


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