Monday, March 8, 2010
The many domestic scenes Jordan included in the books add realism, while often making a point. The laundry scenes, for instance, show the hard labour of the novices, or the humiliation of queens, princesses and Forsaken. Elayne’s obstetric care is a mix of 20th century attitudes grafted onto 18th century practice. These are perhaps better appreciated with some background on what living conditions were like in the west in the 17th to 18th centuries. In the Private Lives of the 17th and 18th Centuries article, now re-published on the blog, I compare descriptions of underclothing, personal care, laundry, vermin, sanitation and childbirth in the Wheel of Time series with those of the equivalent time period in the real world.