Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on December 1, 2014

in Cleaned by Capitalism, History, Standard of Living

… is from page 167 of Antonia Fraser’s fast-paced 1979 biography of Charles Stuart II (1630-1685), Royal Charles; the reference here is to Charles’s youngest sister, Henriette-Anne:

Her teeth, unlike those of so many beauties of the time, were white and regular.

Our standards of human beauty today are far higher than they were in pre-industrial times (which is to say, for nearly all of human history) – times when regular bathing was unknown (except perhaps to a few fortunate royals), dental hygiene virtually nonexistent, diets poor and irregular (and, hence, stature small, bent, and not seldom downright deformed), disease (both internal and dermal) rampant, and clothing and bedding filthy and bug-ridden.

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