There was rather too much discussion of chimney architecture in The Hidden Killers of the Tudor Home, another instalment of Suzannah Lipscomb’s sexed-up social history series.
That time could more profitably have been spent providing further explanation of the “death from crushed testicles after playing games at Christmas” recorded by a coroner of the time. Now we’ll always wonder.
Lipscomb has already detailed all the ways in which the homes of Victorians, Edwardians conspired to kill them, but this episode on Tudor dwellings was the raciest so far. Newly affordable sugar, or “white gold”, as it was known, flowed through Tudor veins like high-grade cocaine; even their toothpaste had sugar in it.
If that dangerous diet didn’t get you, it was the syphilis (recorded for the first time in 1497), the quack doctors, or (in the absence of indoor plumbing) the risk of drowning in a nearby body of water.
Lipscomb is prim, but not too proper to don Tudor garb, dive in and demonstrate how it was so many people drowned in shallow streams or ponds. That almost made up for the 20-minute chimney lecture.Reuse content