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Historians since the s have explored many facets of the social history, covering every class of the population. Although home to only a small part of the population the Tudor municipalities were overcrowded and unhygienic. Most towns were unpaved with poor public sanitation. There were no sewers or drains, and rubbish was simply abandoned in the street.

Animals such as rats thrived in these conditions. In larger towns and cities, such as London, common diseases arising from lack of sanitation included smallpox , measles , malaria , typhus , diphtheria , Scarlet fever , and chickenpox. Outbreaks of the Black Death pandemic occurred in , , , , and The reason for the speedy spread of the disease was the increase of rats infected by fleas carrying the disease. Child mortality was low in comparison with earlier and later periods, at about or fewer deaths per babies.

The great majority were tenant farmers who lived in small villages. Their homes were, as in earlier centuries, thatched huts with one or two rooms, although later on during this period, roofs were also tiled. Furniture was basic, with stools being commonplace rather than chairs. The daub was usually then painted with limewash , making it white, and the wood was painted with black tar to prevent rotting, but not in Tudor times; the Victorians did this afterwards.

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The bricks were handmade and thinner than modern bricks. The wooden beams were cut by hand, which makes telling the difference between Tudor houses and Tudor-style houses easy, as the original beams are not straight. The upper floors of Tudor houses were often larger than the ground floors, which would create an overhang or jetty. This would create more floor-surface above while also keeping maximum street width.

During the Tudor period, the use of glass when building houses was first used, and became widespread. It was very expensive and difficult to make, so the panes were made small and held together with a lead lattice, in casement windows.

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People who could not afford glass often used polished horn, cloth or paper. Tudor chimneys were tall, thin, and often decorated with symmetrical patterns of molded or cut brick. Early Tudor houses, and the homes of poorer people, did not have chimneys.

The smoke in these cases would be let out through a simple hole in the roof. Mansions had many chimneys for the many fireplaces required to keep the vast rooms warm. These fires were also the only way of cooking food. Wealthy Tudor homes needed many rooms, where a large number of guests and servants could be accommodated, fed and entertained. Wealth was demonstrated by the extensive use of glass. Windows became the main feature of Tudor mansions, and were often a fashion statement. Mansions were often designed to a symmetrical plan; "E" and "H" shapes were popular.

About one-third of the population lived in poverty, with the wealthy expected to give alms to assist the impotent poor. Those who left their parishes in order to locate work were termed vagabonds and could be subjected to punishments, including whipping and putting at the stocks. The idea of the workhouse for the able-bodied poor was first suggested in There was an unprecedented expansion of education in the Tudor period. Until then, few children went to school. Boys were allowed to go to school and began at the age of 4, they then moved to grammar school when they were 7 years old.

Girls were either kept at home by their parents to help with housework or sent out to work to bring money in for the family. They were not sent to school. Boys were educated for work and the girls for marriage and running a household so when they married they could look after the house and children. Many Tudor towns and villages had a parish school where the local vicar taught boys to read and write. Brothers could teach their sisters these skills. At school, pupils were taught English, Latin, Greek, catechism and arithmetic. The pupils practised writing in ink by copying the alphabet and the Lord's Prayer.

There were few books, so pupils read from hornbooks instead. These wooden boards had the alphabet, prayers or other writings pinned to them and were covered with a thin layer of transparent cow's horn. There were two types of school in Tudor times: The school day started at 7: Petty schools had shorter hours, mostly to allow poorer boys the opportunity to work as well.

Schools were harsh and teachers were very strict, often beating pupils who misbehaved. Education would begin at home, where children were taught the basic etiquette of proper manners and respecting others. Only the most wealthy people allowed their daughters to be taught, and only at home. During this time, endowed schooling became available. This meant that even boys of very poor families were able to attend school if they were not needed to work at home, but only in a few localities were funds available to provide support as well as the necessary education scholarship.

In Part Three, with the Chapter "Spenser's Ariosto", this study also throws light, again with a wealth of evidence from textual readings, on Spenser's creative ability in his imitative process and in his adaptations of Ariostean elements in the Faerie Queene. Towards the end of the volume, Scarsi illustrates how Ariosto's irony, completely lost, or suppressed in Harington, is instead picked up and elaborated upon by another of Ariosto's translators, Tofte.

She does this by analyzing, among others, passages that contain no female character pp. The variety of achievements and the wealth of information contained in Translating Women are difficult to summarize, but suffice it to say that this book will be of interest for Translation Studies and Anglo-Italian Studies scholars. On the other hand, Gender Studies are not the methodological framework of this study - as a glance at the book's bibliography will confirm - and gender issues find only a marginal place, if any, in the conclusions that are drawn.

As the author herself declares in the Introduction, the female figures "act as a trait d'union " p. This is, in fact, what female characters do in this book: More than the focus of a discussion on gender, female figures appear as the author's starting point for addressing the book's central concerns: The assumption in this book, made explicit in the title, that talking about female literary characters is automatically equivalent to talking about "women" and, more importantly, that "gender" is merely synonymous with "women", is distant from the theoretical basis and critical practice of Gender Studies.

The themes of female knights, Amazons, cross-dressing, homoeroticism, associated with ideas of androgyny and hermaphroditism, are among the most fascinating features of Renaissance literature and art. As is well known, these themes and ideas have long been the object of intense interdisciplinary research and very lively discussions in the area of Gender Studies, not to mention Queer Studies. For instance, the enormous centrality of Italian Neoplatonism - imported, of course, through translation - in shaping Elizabethan conceptions and representations of gender could, by itself, have taken up several pages, but is ignored in Translating Women , where it is even absent in the Introduction.

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