Mal Air Ea
Posted by Ken on August 31, 1998 at 07:40:06:
In response to Fevers: Shaved Heads, etc., written by SuzanneR on August 30, 1998 at 14:14:21
] I skimmed Jane Eyre very fast, specifically the part about the typhus epidemic at Lowood School. I couldn't find any reference to heads being shaved, but did learn something new: "An odour of camphor and burnt vinegar warned me when I came near the fever room..." They must've thought that illness could be spread by odors (reminds me of the herbs strewn on the dock in the Old Bailey and the posies carried by judges to ward off jail fever).
They--meaning most people--had thought illness could be spread or combatted through odors for centuries. Malaria, in fact, means "bad air". But at least as far back as the Black Death, people were wearing little bags of fragrant herbs to try to ward off the disease. (In fact, "London Bridges" is supposed to be a song from this period, complete with a pocketful of presumably fragrant posies!)
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