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The Cover
May 9, 2001

The Bedroom

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2001;285(18):2295. doi:10.1001/jama.285.18.2295

In the well-run Dutch household of the 17th century (and most apparently were, low-life genre scenes notwithstanding), each day had its prescribed chore. Mondays and Tuesdays were for dusting the reception rooms and bedrooms, Wednesdays the entire house. On Thursdays floors were scrubbed and on Fridays the kitchen and cellar scoured. And every day first thing in the morning, before anyone was about, the entryway, the front stoop, and the street in front of the house were scrubbed until they were, in the words of one astonished English visitor, "clean as any chamber floor." (For more on this—and other aspects of Dutch life—see Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY: 1987, especially Chapter 6, "Housewives and Hussies: Homeliness and Wordiness.")

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