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The Lost Art of Bundling

“The idea was that they spend the entire night chatting and getting to know each other to decide if they wanted to get married. I see bundling as a really important step in the journey towards marriage becoming a marriage of personal choice, rather than something you’re just forced into by your parents for economic reasons. Because you don’t have to marry the man or woman after the night of bundling.”
—While discussing her new book ‘If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home,’ the delightful historian Lucy Worsley touches on the practice of bundling, in which 17th-century parents would “allow their daughter to sleep in the same bed as the young man courting her — but both the woman and man were tied down with heavy rope.” Sexy? Itchy? Bladder-y? The whole interview is worth a read — there’s fishbone tooth powder and the beckonable toilet of Queen Elizabeth I, too. Plus vinegar, and closets. (And for more Lucy Worsley, there’s Lucy, and Twitter. She’s great!)


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