----- Original Message -----
From: "Eva M. Löfgren" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Girlsown" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2004 10:38 PM
Subject: [GO] BD:Violets: Drains and sanitation

> 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
> > eternal. In Elizabeth von Arnim's books (the German ones) there is a
> > lot about the stupid peasants sealing themselves into their houses
> > sewing their children into their clothes while Elizabeth believes
> > children would be healthier if they got some fresh air.
> Not only class but geograpical/climatical differences. When you live
> a cold climate you can't sleep with open windows for most part of the
> year - you need to keep the rooms warm.

Yes indeed - geography is certainly important. When they get malaria in
Little House on the Prairie, it is blamed on the night air and it you
live in a mosquito ridden swamp (as many people still do), then keeping
your windows closed is probably quite sensible (as well as having all
the netting).

I don't know about Real Life, but in the dramatised versions of
Elizabeth Barrett Browning's life, there are always scenes where she
begs to be allowed to open the windows and the nurse compromises with
opening the bedroom door.  So maybe it wasn't just The Poor who were
prejudiced against the night air. And perhaps poor people houses didn't
have very well-fitting windows anyway so there may have been enough
natural drafts.


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