Restraint: Episode fifteen of a thirty-part series made in collaboration with the British Library Sound Archive.
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries brought a new emphasis on self-discipline in every day life - and with it a revulsion against noise of every kind. City authorities banned singing and feasting from public squares and tore down maypoles, while town-dwellers raised petitions against noisy neighbours. Spitting, snorting and breaking wind - once part of everyday life - were now a cause for wrinkled noses and dismay. Professor David Hendy of the University of Sussex cocks a genteel ear to the polite sound-world of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Series producer: Matt Thompson
A Rockethouse production for BBC Radio 4.