Clean (Ebook)

An Unsanitised History of Washing

Katherine Ashenburg

'Ashenburg rolls up her sleeves and takes us on an engaging tour of hygiene through the ages. Her masterful mix of erudition and anecdote makes this a fascinating, fast-paced read' - Time Out

'I return to Paris in five days. Stop washing.' So wrote Napoleon to Josephine in an age when body odour was considered an aphrodisiac. In stark contrast, the Romans used to bath for hours each day. Ashenburg's investigation of history's ambivalence towards personal hygiene takes her through plague-ridden streets, hospitals and battlefields. From the bizarre prescriptions of doctors to the eccentricities of famous bathers, she presents us with all the twists and turns that have led us to our own, arbitrary notion of 'clean'.

Publication date: 06/01/2011


ISBN: 9781847653369


Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: History & Classics

Reviews for Clean

'The only possible complaint about Ashenburg's exceptionally enjoyable book is that, being beautifully designed and illustrated, it is not suitable for reading in the bath '

John Carey The Sunday Times

'Thought provoking, charming and great fodder for dinner-party chat, this is a memorable read'

 Time Out

'This is a sparkling, discursive and witty history: good, clean fun '

Cressida Connolly New Statesman

'[T]errific history of personal hygiene ... A wonderfully interesting and amusing book'

 Daily Mail

'Here is a splendid history of the amazingly different attitudes that various civilisations have taken towards water'

Nicholas Bagnall Sunday Telegraph

'Awash with smart allusions...absorbing on Roman water-heating or Victorian soap, this finely-illustrated survey turns on a foaming jacuzzi for the mind'

Boyd Tonkin The Independent

'An entertaining book that really does belong in the bathroom'

Claire Allfree Metro

'Clean takes you on a fast-paced journey that confronts our own obsession with cleanliness, gives insight into cultural differences and charts the wonderful history of human hygine. It's a refreshing home spa for the brain.'

 Elle Decoration Magazine, South Africa

Katherine Ashenburg

Katherine Ashenburg

Katherine Ashenburg has worked as an academic, a CBC Radio producer and the Arts and Books editor of the Globe and Mail. She has written for the New York Times and her books include and The Mourner's Dance: What We Do When People Die. She lives in Toronto.