I only read historicals if I’m in the mood for them. But I’ve read enough to remember that things like body odor and bad breath were generally reserved for the bad guys. The heroine smelled sweet, the hero smelled sexy and all is good.
Over at the smart bitch blog, Kris Kennedy has put together some information that sheds some light on the facts of historical life. Things like…
Too bad. In a romance, the hero and heroine usually get a lot of alone time. Their bedchamber is a place of privacy. But that was not always the case. Early on, privacy was considered rude, and even without the social strictures, these were usually cramped quarters, even in castles. Rooms were small—easier to heat—and people got together for almost everything. Often, even nobles had big old beds so that hero, heroine, their children could sleep together.
Let him sleep with you? Feed him off the table? Sure, why not? Well, then why make him go outside to relieve himself?
They didn’t back then. Thus, those rushes on the floor (and in winter, straw), scattered through with herbs and flowers to alleviate the stench.
This one really makes me shudder
Urine was a very useful agent in the middle ages. It was used for everything from working wool to building plaster. They used it as a cleaning agent and to diagnose illnesses. And it keeps the hands nice and soft! Mmmm.
The title of the post is top medieval history facts you won’t see in romance. I can see why…I think if I made past the dogs and cats peeing on the floor, the usefulness of urine would definitely do me in. 😉