Hubbub: Filth, Noise, and Stench in England, 1600-1770 Hardcover – 27 Feb 2007
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." . . . Cockayne''s prose is clear, free of jargon, and interspersed with rich quotations drawn from a wide array of primary sources. . . . An excellent study of English urban life in all its filth and stench."--A./i>--A. Roger Ekirch"American Historical Review" (04/14/2009)
." . . . Cockayne's prose is clear, free of jargon, and interspersed with rich quotations drawn from a wide array of primary sources. . . . An excellent study of English urban life in all its filth and stench." A./i>--A. Roger Ekirch"American Historical Review" (04/14/2009)"
"Relatively little work of this kind exists for earlier periods. . . . [A] remarkable book. . . . "Hubbub "is a work of impressive erudition and insight. it deserves to be widely read by everyone with an interest in urban, environmental, or early modern British history." Peter Thorsheim, "The Historian"--Peter Thorsheim "The Historian ""
'Cockayne spares the reader nothing, from bad breath ... to eyebrow dandruff ... entertaining and full of interesting detail.'
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The text gives you a really good impression of wha life must have been like for 'ordinary' folks in these times and all the grisly, dirty and unhygienic things they were exposed to.
There is reliance on the work of Diarists and Social Commentators of the time and they prove to be helpful and amusing.
Thomas Tyron in particular stood out to me as a particular joy - with his neurotic and obsessive ideas (but in actual fact they turn out to be rather forward thinking with hindsight).
I can't really find any fault with this book at all, and I was very sad to have finished it. I think it would be excellent for anyone studying the period in history, or indeed, for anyone with a passing fascination for matters of grime and hygiene! Well worth a read.
Until Victorian redevelopers went crazy with their wrecking balls, all English towns and cities were (to modern eyes) unbelieveably picturesque, interesting and beautiful - dense, labyrintine treasure houses packed solid with fascinating buildings, streets, alleys, courts, watercourses, and fragments of medieval fortifications.
But the old maps and engravings do not show the indescribable filth, noise and stench - caused by overcrowding, primitive sanitation, heavily-polluted (or non existent) water supplies, coal smoke, proto-industrial effluent and bad food - with which the inhabitants lived. To a ;arge degree, most became innured to them, but disgust at extreme squalor is innately human, and detailed research into the "nuisances" for which legal redress was sought in the 17th and 18th centuries is illuminating.
Our modern dull, dreary, uniform, motor-traffic-polluted cities have lost their soul, but undeniably, as a result of the destruction of their predecessors, human lives are now safer and longer.
The book is well recommended.
"Passengers in coaches would be 'cruelly shaken' by the ruts and pot-holes ... Jostling along the street in a coach in December 1662 made Samuel Pepys's testicles hurt." - from HUBBUB
"(Clavering) listed various examples of damage and injury caused by falling (chimney) pots. In one case the sweep became stuck in a chimney pot and both fell into a pile of rubbish in the yard below. The sweep was hospitalized, the pot broke, and a maid who had been washing in the yard fell into an apoplectic fit." - from HUBBUB
HUBBUB by Emily Cockayne is a scholarly account of the assaults on the senses and one's person encountered in England in the period 1600 to 1770 - assaults brought on by humans living in too close proximity to one another, particularly in the cities of London, Manchester, Bath, and Oxford.
In chapters entitled Ugly, Itchy, Mouldy, Noisy, Grotty, Busy, Dirty and Gloomy, the author examines everything - from physical deformities to poor personal hygiene to spoiled food to poorly-paved streets to air and noise pollution to traffic congestion to raw sewage, and more - which might be encountered by the average citizen on a daily basis and cause for simple discomfiture to absolute outrage.
Cockayne's approach to the narrative is to rely heavily on references to or quotes from public records and the personal accounts of contemporary chroniclers to make her points.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great bit of social history engagingly written. If you really want to get some appreciation of modern creature comforts, read this!Published 1 month ago by Wise fool
Well written although a bit too academic. More of a long essay than a captivating account of the history of four famous cities and their battle with miasmas and diseases. Read morePublished on 30 May 2014 by lovereading
This book reports many data about the struggle against
dirt in thesocial life. Now I can compare with the situation
in other Countries