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BBC – If Walls Could Talk (2011) 2of4 The Bathroom

If Walls Could Talk 2of4 The Bathroom

Why did the flushing toilet take two centuries to catch on? Why did medieval people sleep sitting up? When were the two ‘dirty centuries’? Why did gas lighting cause Victorian ladies to faint? Why, for centuries, did people fear fruit? All these questions and more are answered in this juicy, truly intimate history of the home.

Through the bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen, Lucy Worsley explores what people actually did in bed, in the bath, at the table, and at the stove. From sauce-stirring to breast-feeding, teeth-cleaning to getting dressed to getting married, this series will make you see your home with new eyes.

Part 1: Living Room
Looks at the room that has had more names and been through more changes than any other in the house. from the communal medieval great hall, to a Georgian drawing room, discovers the wonders that gas and electric lighting brought to the Victorian parlour, and experiences leisure 1950s style.


Part 2: Bathroom
A look at the bathroom – a room that didn’t even exist in many British homes until 50 years ago. From the medieval bath houses to London Bridge’s communal loos to finding out how piped water got to our homes and finally getting to the bottom of the Crapper myth at Stoke’s Toilet Museum


Part 3: Bedroom
Focuses on the bedroom – a room which people now think of as one of the most private in the house and yet started for most as a noisy, busy communal space. Starting at a Tudor farmhouse to recreating a bedtime ‘bundling’ courtship ritual, to experiencing the glamour of the 1930s boudoir, discover that birth, marriage and death have all played a big part in the story of the bedroom.


Part 4: Kitchen
From baking bread in a Tudor kitchen to spit-roasting mutton with a dog to doing a week’s Victorian re-cycling to trying out 1950s labour saving gadgets, Lucy tracks the changes that have turned the kitchen from a room of hard work into the appliance-packed room we know today.

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