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Tony Grist

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The Time Traveller's Guide To Elizabethan England [Jun. 1st, 2013|09:34 am]
Tony Grist
Ian Mortimer's Elizabethan England is all plague, famine, crime, cruelty, religious intolerance, misogyny and child abuse. I tumbled to what he was doing when he represented the however-many it-was compulsory saints days as something imposed on a groaning populace by the lordly church without mentioning that they also served as jolly holidays.  If you cherry-pick your facts and relentlessly accentuate the negative you can make any society seem hellish-  and that includes our own (God save you) even though we do possess the flush toilets and electric lights the Elizabethans suffered without.
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2013-06-01 10:03 am (UTC)
They did have a flush toilet! As invented by Sir John Harington, the Queen's godson, translator of Orlando Furioso, writer of epigrams ("Treason doth never prosper, / What's the reason? / For if it prosper / None dare call it treason"), and general court goofball. He wrote about it in A New Discourse upon a Stale Subject: The Metamorphosis of Ajax (1586) [Ajax = a jakes, geddit?].

Unfortunately he forgot to invent the u-bend, so it didn't really take off.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-06-01 10:58 am (UTC)
Ah, yes. Of course. I remember seeing a reconstruction of the Harington loo at the lavatory museum in Stoke.

Harington wrote that? I never knew. It's one of my favourite epigrams.
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[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2013-06-01 11:32 am (UTC)
I have his book in paperback which i have yet to read, as well as his Tie Traveller's Guide To Medieval England
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-06-01 01:56 pm (UTC)
I wonder if the books are as dour and grim as the TV programme?
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[User Picture]From: moth_wingthane
2013-06-01 08:51 pm (UTC)
I didn't get to watch the programme yet but I have recorded it. I'm feeling as though I might be better off just deleting it.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-06-01 09:15 pm (UTC)
Give it a whirl. I found it tendentious but, all the same, it told me things I didn't know.
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