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This article argues that smell's place in nineteenth-century medicine and public health was distinctly ambiguous. Standard narratives in the history of smell argue that smell became less important in this period whilst also arguing that urban spaces were deodorized. The causal motor for the latter shift is medical theories about odour and miasma. By contrast, this article argues that sanitary practices of circulation, ventilation, and disinfection proceeded despite, not because of, medical attitudes to smell. Surgeons and physicians argued that odours were no indicator of disease causing matter and distrusted the use of smell because of its subjective qualities and resistance to linguistic definition. Yet these qualities made smell all the more powerful in sanitary literature, where it was used to generate a powerful emotional effect on readers. Histories of smell need to attend not just to deodorization but re-odorization; the disjuncture between practices of smelling and their textual or visual representation; and chronologies that track the shelving and re-deploying of ways of sensing in different times, places, and communities rather than tracking the de novo emergence of a modern Western sensorium. In mid-nineteenth-century England, smell retained its power, but that power now came from its rhetorical rather than epistemological force.


Corresponding author

Department of Humanities, University of Derby, Kedlestone Road, Derby, de22


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The author would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their very useful comments, which made this an immeasurably better article; the AHRC for funding the research on which this publication is based; the IHR and Past & Present Society for the fellowship during which this article was revised; and Agnes Arnold-Forster, Keir Waddington, and Michael Brown for commenting on earlier drafts.



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1 Report from the select committee on metropolitan sewage manure (London, 1846), pp. 108–9.

2 This builds on the judicious identification and critique of these two narratives in Jenner, Mark, ‘Follow your nose? Smell, smelling, and their histories’, American Historical Review, 116 (2011), pp. 335–51.

3 For background on the commercial history of these fluids, see McLean, David, ‘Protecting wood and killing germs: “Burnett's Liquid” and the origins of the preservative and disinfectant industries in early Victorian Britain’, Business History, 52 (2010), pp. 285305.

4 For a general introduction, see Reinarz, Jonathan, Past scents (Urbana, IL, 2014).

5 For more on this, see William Tullett, Smell in eighteenth-century England: a social sense (forthcoming).

6 Corbin, Alain, Time, desire, horror: towards a history of the senses (London, 1995), p. 183; for a critique of this binarism, see Brant, Clare, ‘Fume and perfume: some eighteenth-century uses of smell’, Journal of British Studies, 43 (2004), pp. 444–63.

7 Thorsheim, Peter, Inventing pollution: coal, smoke, and culture in Britain since 1800 (Athens, OH, 2006), pp. 16, 208 n. 30; Porter, Dorothy, Health, civilization and the state: a history of public health from ancient to modern times (London, 2005), p. 118; Joyce, Patrick, The rule of freedom: liberalism and the modern city (London, 2003), pp. 64, 72, 75; Goldstein, Joshua, ‘Waste’, in Trentmann, Frank, ed., The Oxford handbook of the history of consumption (Oxford, 2012), p. 332; Inglis, David, ‘Sewers and sensibilities: the bourgeois faecal experience in the nineteenth-century city’, in Cowan, Alexander and Steward, Jill, eds., The city and the senses: urban culture since 1500 (Farnham, 2007), pp. 114–16; Atkins, Peter, ‘Animal wastes and nuisances in nineteenth-century London’, in Atkins, Peter, ed., Animal cities: beastly urban cities (Farnham, 2012), pp. 221–2.

8 Corbin, Alain, The foul and the fragrant: odor and the French social imagination (Leamington Spa, 1986), p. 15.

9 Ibid., p. 20.

10 Ibid., pp. 24–7, 48–51, 105–9.

11 Ibid., pp. 121–3.

12 Ibid., p. 56.

13 Both narratives are identified and summarized in Jenner, ‘Follow your nose?’, pp. 343–6, 338–40.

14 Corbin, The foul, pp. 7–8.

15 Ibid., pp. 15, 111; for the dismissal of smell in late eighteenth-century chemistry, see Roberts, Lissa, ‘The death of the sensuous chemist: the “new” chemistry and the transformation of sensuous technology’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 26 (1995), pp. 503–29.

16 Corbin, The foul, pp. 90, 113, 121.

17 Kiechle, Melanie A., Smell detectives: an olfactory history of nineteenth-century urban America (London, 2017), pp. 5, 80.

18 Huang, Xuelei, ‘Deodorizing China: odour, ordure, and colonial (dis)order in Shanghai, 1840s–1940s’, Modern Asian Studies, 503 (2016), pp. 1099–100.

19 Brown, Michael, ‘From foetid air to filth: the cultural transformation of British epidemiological thought, ca. 1780–1848’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 82 (2008), pp. 515–44; Pickstone, John V., ‘Dearth, dirt, and fever epidemics: rewriting the history of British “public health”, 1780–1850’, in Ranger, Terence and Slack, Paul, eds., Epidemics and ideas: essays on the historical perception of pestilence (Cambridge, 1992), pp. 125–48; Hamlin, Christopher, ‘Predisposing causes and public health in early nineteenth-century medical thought’, Social History of Medicine, 5 (1992), pp. 4370.

20 Corbin, The foul; Reinarz, Past scents, p. 162; Kiechle, Smell detectives, p. 80; Thorsheim, Inventing pollution, p. 20; Barnes, David, The great stink of Paris and the nineteenth-century struggle against filth and germs (Baltimore, MA, 2006); Baldwin, Peter, Contagion and the state in Europe, 1830–1930 (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 128, 148.

21 Reinarz, Past scents, p. 209.

22 Ibid., pp. 187–92; on the meanings of filth, see Cohen, William A., ‘Introduction: locating filth’, in Cohen, William A. and Johnson, Ryan, eds., Filth: dirt, disgust, and modern life (Minneapolis, MN, 2006), pp. viixxxvii.

23 On implicit and explicit sensory archives, see Tullett, Smell in eighteenth-century England.

24 Palmer, Richard, ‘In bad odour: smell and its significance in medicine from antiquity to the seventeenth century’, in Bynum, W. S. and Porter, Roy, eds., Medicine and the five senses (Cambridge, 1993), pp. 61–9; Jenner, Mark, ‘Tasting Lichfield, touching China: Sir John Floyer's senses’, Historical Journal, 53 (2010), pp. 647–70; Sir Floyer, John, Pharmako-basnos (2 vols., London, 1687–90); Hermann, Paul, Materia medica, trans. Strother, Edward (2 vols., London, 1727), i, pp. i, xliv, 73, 29, 302.

25 ‘Hera Vliegen, a woman who lived off the smell of flowers’, early 1600s, print on paper, 18.7x12cm, Welcome Library, no. 1931i; Wanley, Nathaniel, The wonders of the little world (London, 1678), p. 105; Tyson, Edward, Orang Outang (London, 1699), p. 18; Crooke, Helkiah, Mikrokosmographia (London, 1615), p. 705; Ramazzini, Bernadino, A treatise on the diseases of tradesmen (London, 1705), p. 156; Bacon, Francis, The philosophical works of Francis Bacon (3 vols., London, 1733), iii, p. 158.

26 Thorndike, L., ‘Sanitation, baths, and street-cleaning in the middle ages and Renaissance’, Speculum, 3 (1928), pp. 192203; Rawcliffe, Carole, Urban bodies: communal health in late medieval English towns and cities (Woodbridge, 2013), pp. 116–29; Mark Jenner, ‘Early modern English conceptions of cleanliness and dirt as reflected in the environmental regulation of London, c. 1530–c. 1700’ (D.Phil. thesis, Oxford, 1992), pp. 20–5, 118; Jo Wheeler, ‘Stench in sixteenth-century Venice’, in Cowan and Steward, eds., The city and the senses, pp. 26–38; Jørgensen, Dolly, ‘The medieval sense of smell, stench, and sanitation’, in Krampl, Ulrike et al. , eds., Les cinq sens de la ville du moyen âge à nos jours (Tours, 2013), pp. 301–13; Skelton, Leona, Sanitation in urban Britain, 1560–1700 (London, 2016), pp. 2054; Jenner, Mark, ‘Civilization and deodorization? Smell in early modern English culture’, in Burke, Peter et al. , eds., Civil histories: essays presented to Sir Keith Thomas (Oxford, 2000), pp. 131–2.

27 Dobson, Mary J., Contours of death and disease in early modern England (Cambridge, 2003), p. 29; Temkin, Oswei, The double face of Janus (Baltimore, MD, 1977), pp. 461–3; for examples of fumigations, see recipe book of Sir Thomas Osbourne, 1670–95, Wellcome Library, MS 3724/63; Lady Frances Catchmay's recipe book, c. 1625, Wellcome Library, MS 184a/6; on pomanders, see Dugan, Holly, The ephemeral history of perfume: scent and sense in early modern England (Baltimore, MA, 2011), pp. 110–11; Welch, Evelyn, ‘Scented buttons and perfumed gloves: smelling things in Renaissance Italy’, in Mirabella, B., ed., Ornamentalism: the art of Renaissance accessories (Ann Arbor, MI, 2011), pp. 1339; for recipes, see Edwards, John, A treatise concerning the plague and the pox (London, 1652), p. 19; Thayre, Thomas, A treatise of the pestilence (London, 1603), p. 27.

28 However, a new and important sensitivity to smell could be found in areas beyond medicine; see Tullett, Smell in eighteenth-century England.

29 Jenner, ‘Early modern English conceptions of cleanliness and dirt’.

30 For further discussion of this transition, see Tullett, Smell in eighteenth-century England; on medicines and efficacy, see Parr, Bartholomew, The London medical dictionary (2 vols., London, 1809), ii, pp. 134, 136, 137, 139; Paris, John Ayrton, Pharmacologia (2 vols., London, 1826), i, Preface, pp. 7981; Murray, J., A system of materia medica (London, 1810), p. 111; on food, see Hicks, William, Oxford jests (London, 1740), p. 73; ‘Charity tubes to convey the smell from the tables of the rich for the benefit of the poor operatives’, 1830, London, etching with watercolour, 236x346mm, Lewis Walpole Library, Yale, 830.01.01.0; Feeding on smells’, Journal of Health, 4 (1832), pp. 173–4.

31 Riley, James C., The eighteenth-century campaign to avoid disease (London, 1987); Hardy, Anne, ‘The medical response to epidemic disease during the eighteenth century’, in Champion, J. A. I., ed., Epidemic disease in London (London, 1993), pp. 67–9; Porter, Roy, ‘Cleaning up the great wen: public health in eighteenth-century London’, Medical History, Supplement no. 11 (1991), pp. 6175; Ogborn, Miles, Spaces of modernity: London's geographies, 1680–1780 (New York, NY, 1998), pp. 75114; for the forms of sensory attention behind improvement, see Gwynn, John, London and Westminster improved (London, 1766); on industry, see Roux, Thomas Le, ‘Governing the toxics and the pollutants. France, Great Britain, 1750–1850’, Endeavour, 40 (2016), p. 81.

32 A detailed discussion will be found in Tullett, Smell in eighteenth-century England.

33 Yankovich, Vladimir, Confronting the climate: British airs and the making of environmental medicine (New York, NY, 2010); Golinkski, Jan, British weather and the climate of Enlightenment (Chicago, IL, 2007); Crowley, John, The invention of comfort: sensibilities and design in early modern Britain and early America (Baltimore, MA, 2001); for exemplars of this strain of environmental literature, see Adair, James Makittrick, Essays on fashionable diseases (London, 1790); Sir Sinclair, John, The code of health and longevity (London, 1818); Johnson, James, The influence of the atmosphere (London, 1818).

34 Smyth, James Carmichael, An account of the experiment made at the desire of the lords commissioners of the admiralty (London, 1796); Smyth, James Carmichael, The effect of the nitrous vapour (London, 1799).

35 Carmichael Smyth, The effect of the nitrous vapour, pp. 7–8.

36 Ibid., pp. 87, 92–3.

37 Chisholm, Colin, An essay on the malignant pestilential fever (2 vols., London, 1801), ii, p. 27; Meyler, Anthony, Observations on ventilation (London, 1818), pp. 114–15.

38 Trotter, Thomas, Medicina nautica (London, 1799), pp. 3556.

39 Fennings, Alfred, The new & only successful treatment of cholera (London, 1848), p. i; Copeland, James, Of pestilential cholera (London, 1832), p. 107.

40 Choleraphoby’, in McLean's Monthly Sheet of Caricatures, no. 24 (London, 1831), British Museum, 1868,0808.12311; Elegant preventative of cholera’, in McLean's Monthly Sheet of Caricatures, no. 25 (London, 1832), British Museum, 1868,0808.12313.

41 Forster, Thomas, Essay on the origin, symptoms, and treatment of cholera morbus (London, 1831), p. 60; Copeland, Of pestilential cholera, pp. 68–9; Shapter, Thomas, The history of the cholera in Exeter in 1832 (London, 1849), pp. 177–8; Goss, John, Practical remarks on the disease called cholera (London, 1831), pp. 22–3.

42 The physician: I. The cholera (London, 1832), p. 177; Kennedy, James M. S., A lecture on the nature, causes, and prevention of cholera (Ashby-de-la-Zouch, 1831), p. 33.

43 Brougham, Stephen, On cholera (London, 1834), pp. 67, 73–7; Sir Russel, William, Official reports made to government by Drs. Russell & Barry (London, 1832), pp. 112–13.

44 Hawkins, Francis Bisset, History of the epidemic spasmodic cholera of Russia (London, 1831), pp. 20–3; Russel, Official reports, p. 60.

45 Fergusson, William, Letters upon cholera morbus (London, 1832), pp. 1516; Haslewood, William, History and medical treatment of cholera (London, 1832), pp. 138–9.

46 Gaulter, Henry, The origin and progress of the malignant cholera in Manchester (London, 1833), p. 183.

47 Ibid., pp. 176, 182, 188–9, 199, 200, 205.

48 Baly, William and Gull, William, Reports on epidemic cholera (London, 1854), pp. 333–4.

49 Ibid., pp. 126, 181, 182.

50 Ibid., pp. 78–80.

51 Kennedy, James, The history of the contagious cholera (London, 1832), pp. 283, 298, 303.

52 Ibid., pp. 425–6.

53 Kennedy, A lecture, p. 26.

54 Ibid., p. 29.

55 Pelling, Margaret, Cholera, fever, and English medicine, 1825–1865 (Oxford, 1978), p. 60; Corbin, The foul, pp. 134, 141–64.

56 See n. 26 above.

57 See Tullett, Smell in eighteenth-century England; for some examples, see The female instructor (London, 1704), pp. 116–20; Braidley, A., The complete English cook (London, 1786), pp. iiiviii.

58 First report of the commissioners appointed to inquire whether any and what special means may be requisite for the improvement of the health of the metropolis (London, 1848), pp. 102, 104, 105.

59 Hamlin, ‘Predisposing causes’; Carter, K. Codell, The rise of causal concepts of disease: case histories (Farnham, 2003), pp. 1316.

60 Baly and Gull, Reports, pp. 4–5.

61 Ibid., pp. 245, 247, 236, 286, 290, 333, 334.

62 Chadwick, Edwin, Supplementary report on the results of special inquiry into the practice of interment in towns (London, 1843), pp. 16, 23–4.

63 Hamlin, Christopher, Public health and social justice in the age of Chadwick (Cambridge, 1998), p. 252; Brown, ‘From foetid air to filth’, p. 542.

64 Smith, Thomas Southwood, ‘Report on some of the physical causes of sickness and mortality to which the poor are particularly exposed’, Fourth annual report of the poor law commissioners, Supplement 1 (London, 1837–9), pp. 134–5.

65 Smith, Thomas Southwood, A treatise on fever (London, 1830); Report from the select committee on the health of towns (London, 1840), p. 6; Smith, Thomas Southwood, Epidemics considered with relation to their common nature (London, 1856), pp. 1314.

66 Hancock, John, Observations on the origin and treatment of cholera (London, 1831), p. 10.

67 For an Improvement Act example, see 10 Geo. 4, c. 44; on the Public Health Acts, see Lumley, W. G., The new sanitary laws (London, 1859), pp. 98, 107; Hanley, James, ‘Parliament, physicians, and nuisances: the demedicalization of nuisance law, 1831–1855’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 80 (2006), p. 707; Hanley, James, Healthy boundaries (Rochester, NY, 2016), pp. 29, 35.

68 Le Roux, ‘Governing the toxics and the pollutants’.

69 Walker, George Alfred, Interment and disinterment (London, 1843), pp. 20, 23.

70 An examination of the report and evidence of the select committee of Mr. Mackinnon's bill (London, 1843), p. 40.

71 Hale, William, Intramural burial in England not injurious to the public health (London, 1855), pp. 22–4.

72 For a summary of existing work, see Mooney, Graham, Intrusive interventions (Rochester, NY, 2015), pp. 124–9.

73 Hamlin, Christopher, ‘The city as a chemical system? The chemist as urban environmental professional in France and Britain, 1780–1880’, Journal of Urban History, 33 (2007), pp. 709–10.

74 Pelling, Cholera, p. 61.

75 Burnett, William, A practical account of the Mediterranean fever (London, 1816), pp. xiv, 13–14, 275–7, 335–8.

76 Ibid., pp. 275–7, 335–8; Burnett, William, Official report on the fever which appeared on board His Majesty's ship Bann (London, 1824), pp. 36–8.

77 Burnett, A practical account, p. 335.

78 William Burnett, ‘Chloride of zinc, 19th June 1848’, Parliamentary Papers, p. 1.

79 ‘Disinfecting fluid, 30th June 1847’, Parliamentary Papers, pp. 4, 11.

80 Ellerman's patent deodorizing and disinfecting process’, Mechanics Magazine, 46 (1847), p. 427; Ellerman, Charles F., Disinfection (London, 1847); Ellerman, Charles F., Sanitary reform and agricultural improvement (London, 1848).

81 ‘A copy of reports on Dr William Burnett's disinfecting fluid, 19th July 1847’, Parliamentary Papers, pp. 1–3.

82 ‘Disinfecting fluid, 30th June 1847’, Parliamentary Papers, pp. 6–7, 10, 12, 15, 23.

83 ‘Disinfecting fluids and metropolitan sewers, 26th June 1848’, Parliamentary Papers, p. 25.

84 Corbin, The foul, p. 124.

85 The disinfecting mania', London Medical Gazette, n.s., 5 (1847), pp. 939–40; A new de-odorizing or anti-bromic process’, London Medical Gazette, n.s., 5 (1847), pp. 821–2.

86 Ledoyen's disinfecting fluid’, Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medical Science, 4 (1847), pp. 161, 167, 168; for ‘magic’ in the testimonials, see Sir Burnett, William, Reports and testimonials respecting the solution of chloride of zinc (London, 1850), pp. 5, 21, 22, 67.

87 The disinfecting fluid again’, The Lancet, 6 (1847), p. 349.

88 The relative merits of the disinfecting [deodorizing] fluids’, The Lancet, 2 (1847), p. 682.

89 Disinfection’, British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review, 1 (1848), p. 261.

90 On the disinfecting fluid’, The Lancet, 50 (1847), pp. 203–4.

91 Ledoyen and Burnett's disinfecting fluid’, Medico-chirurgical Review, 51 (1847), pp. 483–94.

92 Metropolitan sanitary commission. Second report (London, 1848), pp. 712.

93 General Board of Health, Minutes of information collected with reference to works for the removal of soil water or drainage of dwelling houses (London, 1852), pp. 24, 58–9.

94 Simon, John, Report on the sanitary condition of the city of London, for the year 1849–1850 (London, 1850), pp. 36–9; Blyth, Lindsey, Minute of information on disinfection and deodorization (London, 1857), p. i.

95 Smith, Robert Angus, Disinfectants and disinfection (London, 1869).

96 Condy, Henry, Disinfection and the prevention of disease (London, 1862), pp. 23.

97 Agnes Arnold-Forster, ‘Gender and pain in nineteenth-century cancer care’, forthcoming.

98 Sir Gairdner, William Tennant, Public health in relation to air and water (London, 1862), pp. 70–1.

99 Brant, ‘Fume and perfume’, pp. 445–6, 463; Jenner, ‘Civilization and deodorization?’, p. 138; Reinarz, Past scents, p. 210.

100 See Tullett, Smell in eighteenth-century England.

101 Hamlin, Public health, p. 209.

102 Chadwick, Edwin, An inquiry into the sanitary condition of the labouring population of Great Britain (London, 1842), pp. 17, 47, 60, 98, 136, 254; Paton, John, Report on the sanitary condition of Darwen, Lancashire (Preston, 1849), appendix, pp. iii.

103 A plea for the very poor (London, 1850), p. 51.

104 Trotter, David, ‘The New Historicism and the psychopathology of everyday modern life’, Critical Quarterly, 42 (2000), p. 42

105 Hamlin, Public health, p. 289.

106 Chadwick, An inquiry, pp. 148, 232; Loveick, Thomas, Report upon the sanitary condition of the united parishes of St. Andrew Holborn, Above the Bars, and St. George the Martyr (London, 1848), p. 12.

107 Gavin, Hector, Sanitary ramblings (London, 1848); on the role of habituation as a motor of cultural attitudes to smell, see Tullett, Smell in eighteenth-century England.

108 Reports on the sanitary condition of the labouring population in Scotland (London, 1842), pp. 136, 137.

109 For examples of questionnaires and forms, see Board, Poor Law, Report on the capabilities of the metropolitan workhouses for the reception and treatment of cholera cases (London, 1848), p. 69; Second report of the commissioners for inquiring into the state of large towns and populous districts (London, 1845), appendix, p. 21; Report on the cholera outbreak in the parish of St. James, Westminster (London, 1855), p. 175; Report on the sanitary condition of the City of London for the year 1850–1 (London, 1851), p. 51; Report on the sanitary condition of the City of London for the year 1854–5 (London, 1855), p. 32.

110 First report, p. 63.

111 Chadwick, An inquiry, pp. 5, 433; Hassall, Arthur Hill, Observations on the sanitary condition of the Norland district (London, 1849), p. 10.

112 First report, pp. 65, 115–16, 191, 283, 395.

113 Chadwick, An inquiry, p. 342.

114 Scheer, Monique, ‘Are emotions a kind of practice (and is that what makes them have a history? A Bourdieuiean approach to understanding emotion’, History and Theory, 51 (2012), pp. 193220.

115 It is no accident that one article on sixteenth-century responses to smell and disease begins with Chadwick's quote, see Cazes, Helene, ‘Apples and moustaches: Montaigne's grin in the face of infection’, in Carlin, Claire L., ed., Imagining contagion in early modern Europe (Basingstoke, 2005), p. 79.

116 Sigsworth, Michael and Warboys, Michael, ‘The public's view of public health in mid-Victorian Britain’, Urban History, 21 (1994), pp. 237–50; Hanley, James G., ‘The public's reaction to public health: petitions submitted to parliament, 1847–1848’, Social History of Medicine, 15 (2002), pp. 393411.

117 This draws on interventions in the history of homosexuality; see Halperin, David, How to do the history of homosexuality (Chicago, IL, 2005), p. 107.

118 The phrase is Jenner's; see ‘Follow your nose?’, p. 344.

119 Brown, Michael, ‘Medicine, quackery and the free market: the “war” against Morisson's pills and the construction of the medical profession, c. 1830–c. 1850’, in Jenner, M. S. R. and Wallis, Patrick, eds., Medicine and the market in England and its colonies, c. 1450–1850 (Basingstoke, 2007), pp. 238–61.

120 Sterne, Jonathan, The audible past (London, 2003), pp. 100–3; Foucault, Michel, The birth of the clinic, trans. Sheridan, A. M. (London, 1989), p. 196.

121 On novels, see Carlisle, Janice, Common scents (Oxford, 2004), pp. 1517; Stallybrass, Peter and White, Allon, The politics and poetics of transgression (London, 1983), p. 140.

122 Part of a more general emotional economy described in Trotter, ‘The New Historicism’, p. 47.

123 Jenner, ‘Follow your nose?’, pp. 343–5; a good example is Foucault, Michel, The order of things (London, 2005), p. 144.

124 Hamlin, Public health.

125 Orwell, George, The road to Wigan Pier (London, 2001), p. 119.

126 For ‘phenomenological analogy’, see Bloom, Gina, ‘Games’, in Turner, Henry S., ed., Early modern theatricality (Oxford, 2013), p. 193; for language and olfactory experience, see Tullett, Smell in eighteenth-century England; Majid, Asifa and Levinson, Stephen C., ‘The senses in language and culture’, Senses and Society, 6 (2011), p. 8; Dugan, Holly and Farina, Lara, ‘Intimate senses/sensing intimacy’, postmedieval, 3 (2012), pp. 18.

127 For the focus on smell in early seventeenth-century struggles with plague, see Jenner, ‘Early modern English conceptions of cleanliness and dirt’, pp. 20–5, 118; Dugan, The ephemeral, pp. 97–125.

The author would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their very useful comments, which made this an immeasurably better article; the AHRC for funding the research on which this publication is based; the IHR and Past & Present Society for the fellowship during which this article was revised; and Agnes Arnold-Forster, Keir Waddington, and Michael Brown for commenting on earlier drafts.

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