Clean: A History of Personal Hygiene and Purity

Paperback | October 11, 2008

byVirginia Smith

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Why do we still have nits? What exactly are 'purity rules'? And why have baths scarcely changed in 200 years? The long history of personal hygiene and purity is a fascinating subject that reveals how closely we are linked to our deeper past. In this pioneering book, Virginia Smith covers the global history of human body-care from the Neolithic to the present, using first-hand accounts and sources. From pre-historic grooming rituals to New Age medicine, from ascetics to cosmetics, Smith looks at how different cultures have interpreted and striven for personal cleanliness and shows how, throughout history, this striving for purity has brought great social benefits as well as great tragedies. Itis probably safe to say that no-one who reads this book will look at his or her body (or bathroom) in quite the same way again.

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Why do we still have nits? What exactly are 'purity rules'? And why have baths scarcely changed in 200 years? The long history of personal hygiene and purity is a fascinating subject that reveals how closely we are linked to our deeper past. In this pioneering book, Virginia Smith covers the global history of human body-care from the N...

Virginia Smith is a freelance historian who specializes in the history of personal hygiene. She was previously a Fellow of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, under the supervision of the late Roy Porter, and is currently an honorary fellow of the Centre for History in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:480 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 1.02 inPublished:October 11, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199532087

ISBN - 13:9780199532087

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Table of Contents

1. Bio-Physicality2. The Cosmetic Toilette3. Greek Hygiene4. Roman Baths5. Asceticism6. Medieval Morals7. Protestant Regimens8. Civil Cleanliness9. Health Crusaders10. The Body BeautifulSelect BibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Lots of fascinating revelations.'Liz Jones, Evening Standard (London)