Susan Elkin

Join some Necrophiles on the Great Relic Crawl

Travel in Early Modern Europe


Polity Press 350pp £45 order from our bookshop



l could comfortably have slept with Fynes Moryson. We would never have bickered about the bedclothes. Professional traveller as he was, Moryson had the same problem with German beds in the early seventeenth century as I have in the late twentieth nearly everywhere:

‘Throughout all Germany they lodge between two feather beds… as well in summer as in winter. This kind of lodging were not incommodious in winter, if a man did lie alone: but since by the high way they force men to have bedfellowes, one side lies open to the cold by reason that the upper bed is narrow, so it cannot fall around about two, but leaves one side of them open to the wind and the weather. But in summer time this kind of lodging is unpleasant, keeping a man in a continual sweat from head to foote.’

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter