It's quite possible I get a little TOO into researching my historical fantasy. For one thing, they're in a fictional fantasy world. But I generally pick a real place and time they're BASED on and I get really obsessive about getting it right. And one of the many aspects to consider is cleanliness and sanitation. Now, generally, you don't want to get too deep into this. But for Between the Sea and Sky, I couldn't help but think about it, because Esmerine is a mermaid. And when you think of mermaids, you don't really think "sweat". Also, while I had to think a little bit about how mermaids would handle, erm, bathroom issues, they definitely weren't using a chamber pot.
So I got this book from the library called "The Dirt on Clean". It's a history of personal cleanliness in the western world. And you know, I knew Europeans were pretty nasty for awhile, but I figured it was because they didn't have the technology.
In actuality, I guess with all the plagues and everything, since no one knew how these diseases were spreading, they decided water--especially hot water--opened the pores which became a pathway for viruses to just zip right in and kill you. They decided they would keep clean not by bathing, but by changing their linen shirts. People were so excited about linen for awhile that painters actually started getting into white linen glamour shots.
I also found it interesting that people didn't used to want to live by the ocean or look at it. It was considered traumatizing, especially for ladies. Supposedly people didn't start painting the ocean frequently until the "picturesque" movement of the 18th century when suddenly people wanted to look at ruins and weirdly shaped trees and things like that. I've never really paid attention to when seascapes became popular...and of course bathing in the ocean didn't creep in until the 19th century.
But my favorite fact--and I'd read this before, but I still have great difficulty imagining it--people used to poop on the floor of the palace of Versailles.
Enjoy your stay on land, Esmerine!