Clean by Virginia Smith
A History of Personal Hygiene and Purity

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Synopsis

Why do we still have nits? What exactly are 'purity rules'? And why have baths scarcely changed in 200 years?

The long history of personal hygiene and purity is a fascinating subject that reveals how closely we are linked to our deeper past. In this pioneering book, Virginia Smith covers the global history of human body-care from the Neolithic to the present, using first-hand accounts and sources.

From pre-historic grooming rituals to New Age medicine, from ascetics to cosmetics, Smith looks at how different cultures have interpreted and striven for personal cleanliness and shows how, throughout history, this striving for purity has brought great social benefits as well as great tragedies. It is probably safe to say that no-one who reads this book will look at his or her body (or bathroom) in quite the same way again.
 

About Virginia Smith

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Some authors will tell you they dreamed of becoming a writer from the time they could hold a crayon in their chubby little hands," says award-winning author Virginia Smith. "I'm not one of them." Though she has been an avid reader since childhood, Ginny didn't try her hand at writing until her mid-twenties, when she read a story in a magazine and thought, "I could do better than that!" Thus began a long and painful lesson: writing well is harder than it looks. Since she apparently wasn't destined to become an overnight sensation as a novelist, she embarked upon a career in the corporate world, raised a family and wrote in snatches of time after the kids were in bed. And she collected a pile of rejection letters for her stories-one hundred and forty-three of them-before her first sale. Eventually, that first sale did come, and today Ginny says she's grateful for all those years of rejection. "While some people seem to know intuitively how to write, I had to learn the craft. I'm eternally grateful that my early attempts weren't published. Some of them were really awful." After the release of her debut novel in 2006, Ginny left her job as a corporate director to become a full time writer and speaker. She has since published dozens of novels, articles and short stories. Her books are aimed primarily at Christian readers, and she writes in two genres: humorous contemporary fiction and romantic suspense. In March of 2008 she was honored to be named Writer of the Year at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. An energetic speaker, Ginny loves to exemplify God's truth by comparing real-life situations to well-known works of fiction, such as her popular talk, "Biblical Truth in Star Trek". When she's not writing, she and her husband, Ted, enjoy exploring the extremes of nature: snow skiing in the Utah mountains, motorcycle riding on the curvy roads of central Kentucky and scuba diving in the warm waters of the Caribbean. You can stay in touch with Ginny through her Web site.
 
Published May 24, 2007 by OUP Oxford. 470 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Professional & Technical, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Clean

The Guardian

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Clean charts the long history of our attempts to keep body and soul spick and span.

Aug 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Clean: A History of Personal ...

Curious Book Fans

Or if you’re totally open minded you can just browse at will and see what pops up though in all honesty I think you’ll do better to narrow things down a bit if you don’t want to get overwhelmed and do actually want to find practical suggestions rather then just fantacising about things you’ll nev...

Dec 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Clean: A History of Personal ...

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