The more I learn about a time period, the more I want to know but the less I want to visit. Using powdered rabbit head for tooth cleaning doesn't appeal to me, but for the Tudors it was either that or honey.
I'll stick to minty-flavored chemicals.

More than the day-to-day oddities, I'd object to the overall likelihood of pain and death at an early age. The government, the entity formed to care for its people, could brand, maim, imprison, or even kill a person pretty much at the whim of those in power. Nobles lived in a stew of plots and counterplots where brother betrayed brother and wife testified against husband. Yeah, I know we have such perfidies, but nobody gets his head chopped off at the end.

Then there's the whole lack of medical help. If a person could afford a doctor, unlikely as that was, he was more likely to hurt the patient further and even contribute to his death than to heal. Example: you're having eye trouble. The doctor puts powdered dog feces in your eyes. Think you'll be seeing the sunrise next week?

I suppose there were compensations. No speeding cars, no one sharing his inner thoughts with the world on a cell phone in the checkout line, and true darkness and quiet at night for better sleeping. I love imagining what it would be like, but you can keep your time machine. I'm too used to a real bed, sugar in my coffee, and central heating. Besides, I'm sure I wouldn't understand most of what was then called English.

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Comment by Peg Herring on December 20, 2008 at 11:21am
"Whan that Aprille with its shours suite..." et cetera. Actually, I read Middle English pretty fluently. My point was that at normal speaking rates, we would have trouble understanding Tudor speech with different pronunications (e.g. wind), syntax (knock me at the gate), idioms (holding a mind), and vocabulary (morts and rufflers) even though it is considered the same "modern" English that we speak. And Dana makes a great point; our language has gone far enough away from what it was that we may be due for another division. Maybe extra-modern English, what about it, dawg?
Comment by I. J. Parker on December 20, 2008 at 8:15am
The Tudors are Shakespeare's time. It's actually called modern English -- to distinguish it from Middle English, the language of Chaucer.
And as far as I can see, they had good times. The ones that lost their heads were usually playing politics.
On the other hand, your surgeons belonged to the most despised group of people, well below the physicians, and they eked out their livelihood by pulling teeth and shaving people. How the world has changed!
Comment by Dana King on December 20, 2008 at 6:44am
It wouldn't be so bad. Walk through the west side of Baltimore. You won't recognize most of what is NOW called English.


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