Barbara Dryden wrote:
The conflict between a middle/upper class link between fresh air and health and the lower orders' belief that night air will kill you seems eternal. In Elizabeth von Arnim's books (the German ones) there is a lot about the stupid peasants sealing themselves into their houses and sewing their children into their clothes while Elizabeth believes the children would be healthier if they got some fresh air.

Not only class but geograpical/climatical differences. When you live in a cold climate you can't sleep with open windows for most part of the year - you need to keep the rooms warm. Even upper classes in Sweden in earlier days - mostly living in wooden houses - had double glazing inserted in the autumn and the whole windows sealed up for the winter. The rooms were aired for spring cleaning. I'm not sure about the winter temperatures in the Alpes, but I guess that that open dormitory windows might not have been advisable in practice other than for short periods each day. Sleeping in very cold air is not very healthy, not even if you don't suffer from asthma or similar troubles. I haven't read von Arnim, but I have a feeling that neither she nor EBD had much understanding of the traditional ways of Continental - or even British - peasants to adapt to climate and living conditions.

I've never heard about children being sewed into their clothes in Sweden, but poor people didn't have many changes a hundred years ago.

Eva Margareta,

waiting for the approaching winter and hoping we won't get any temperatures below -10 this season.

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