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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: May ::
Re: Lack of Toilets
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0840  Monday, 10 May 1999.

[1]     From:   Charlotte Pressler <
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        Date:   Friday, 7 May 1999 13:44:21 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0803

[2]     From:   Geralyn Horton <
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        Date:   Friday, 07 May 1999 16:45:14 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0832 Re: Assorted Responses


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Charlotte Pressler <
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Date:           Friday, 7 May 1999 13:44:21 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 10.0803
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0803

John Savage asked:

>Does anyone have any solid info on the existence-of lack-of toilets in
>the Globe and other Elizabethan playhouses?  Were elegantly-dressed
>ladies expected to just go out on the grass?

Gail Kern Paster's The Body Embarassed contains a discussion of the
options available to London women in her first chapter, "Leaky Vessels."
They were few, especially for women of higher station, who were
increasingly bound by cultural codes that made excretion a matter for
shame. Men might still make use of "Pissing Alleys," but women had to
resort to makeshifts like the chamber pot in the stall of _Bartholomew
Fair's_ Ursula the pigwoman.

Bests --

Charlotte Pressler
Graduate Student/English
SUNY at Buffalo
e-mail: 
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[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Geralyn Horton <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 07 May 1999 16:45:14 -0400
Subject: 10.0832 Re: Assorted Responses
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0832 Re: Assorted Responses

>>Don't forget that women wore shifts but not underpants, so the
>>association of ideas would have been something like eating parsley-having
>>to urinate-squatting in the field-one thing leads to another.
>
>Does anyone have any solid info on the existence-of lack-of toilets in
>the Globe and other Elizabethan playhouses?  Were elegantly-dressed
>ladies expected to just go out on the grass?

The farthingale is a cumbersome garment, but here is one instance in
which it proves useful.  As a portable modesty tent, it makes "out on
the grass" easy.
 

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