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The dirt on clean : an unsanitized history

Author: Katherine Ashenburg
Publisher: New York : North Point Press, 2007.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st American edView all editions and formats
Summary:
What could be more routine than taking up soap and water and washing yourself? And yet cleanliness, or the lack of it, is intimately connected to ideas as large as spirituality and sexuality, and historical events that include plagues, the Civil War, and the discovery of germs. For the first-century Roman, being clean meant a two-hour soak in baths of various temperatures, scraping the body, and a final application  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Ashenburg, Katherine.
Dirt on clean.
New York : North Point Press, 2007
(OCoLC)608021143
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Katherine Ashenburg
ISBN: 9780865476905 086547690X
OCLC Number: 165956708
Notes: "Originally published in 2007 by Alfred A. Knopf, Canada"--Title page verso.
Description: 358 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: "But Didn't They Smell?" 1 --
1 The Social Bath: Greeks and Romans 15 --
2 Bathed in Christ: 200-1000 49 --
3 A Steamy Interlude: 1000-1550 73 --
4 A Passion for Clean Linen: 1550-1750 97 --
5 The Return of Water: 1750-1815 125 --
6 Baths and How to Take Them: Europe, 1815-1900 161 --
7 Wet All Over at Once: America, 1815-1900 199 --
8 Soap Opera: 1900-1950 229 --
9 The Household Shrine: 1950 to the Present 263.
Responsibility: Katherine Ashenburg.
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Abstract:

What could be more routine than taking up soap and water and washing yourself? And yet cleanliness, or the lack of it, is intimately connected to ideas as large as spirituality and sexuality, and historical events that include plagues, the Civil War, and the discovery of germs. For the first-century Roman, being clean meant a two-hour soak in baths of various temperatures, scraping the body, and a final application of oil. For the aristocratic Frenchman in the seventeenth century, it meant changing your shirt once a day and using perfume to cover your own aroma as well as others', but never immersing yourself in water. Now we live in a deodorized world where sales of hand sanitizers and wipes are skyrocketing. Ashenburg's tour of history's baths and bathrooms reveals much about our changing and most intimate selves--what we desire, what we ignore, and what we fear.--From publisher description.

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