Episode 11: The Bed

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

‘I give unto my wife my second best bed with the furniture’ (late addition clause within the will of William Shakespeare). Early to bed and early to rise helps the Rembrandt of Remembering, Professor James Daybell and the Emperor of Empiricism, Dr Sam Willis, to uncover the unexpected history of the bed. From the Puritan bed of Katherine Stubbes in 1591, to the campaign bed of Napoleon, from the 18ft-long baggage train of Sir Colin Campbell, which accompanied him in 1858, to the Great Bed of Ware.

Join James and Sam as they hit the hay to discover just how central the bed is to everyone’s life. Along the way they will reveal the links between faith and the powerful representations some women could adopt upon their death beds, and the move from the public space of the bed to a very much more private and intimate space. Not that Samuel Pepys had much of a privacy issue outside of the bedroom, preferring to keep business for the bedroom and all bedroom matters for – well anywhere but!

‘Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,

Bless the bed that I lie on’

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