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Table of contents
PREFACE
TOUCH-1
TOUCH-2
TOUCH-3 (begin)
TOUCH-3 (end)
TOUCH-4 (begin)
TOUCH-4 (end)
SMELL-1
SMELL-2
SMELL-3.1
SMELL-3.2
SMELL-3.3
SMELL-3.4
SMELL-3.5
SMELL-4 (begin)
SMELL-4 (end)
SMELL-5
HEARING-1
HEARING-2
HEARING-3
VISION-1.1
VISION-1.2
VISION-1.3
VISION-2.1
VISION-2.2
VISION-2.3
VISION-2.4
VISION-3
VISION-4
VISION-5
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B HISTORY-1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.2
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.3
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.2
INDEX OF AUTHORS

In France and other northern countries the admiration for very fair hair 

is just as marked as in Italy, and dates back to the earliest ages of 

which we have a record. "Even before the thirteenth century," remarks 

Houdoy, in his very interesting study of feminine beauty in northern 

France during mediaeval times, "and for men as well as for women, fair hair 

was an essential condition of beauty; gold is the term of comparison 

almost exclusively used."[159] He mentions that in the _Acta Sanctorum_ it 

is stated that Saint Godelive of Bruges, though otherwise beautiful, had 

black hair and eyebrows and was hence contemptuously called a crow. In the 

_Chanson de Roland_ and all the French mediaeval poems the eyes are 

invariably _vairs_. This epithet is somewhat vague. It comes from 

_varius_, and signifies mixed, which Houdoy regards as showing various 

irradiations, the same quality which later gave rise to the term _iris_ to 

describe the pupillary membrane.[160] _Vair_ would thus describe not so 

much the color of the eye as its brilliant and sparkling quality. While 

Houdoy may have been correct, it still seems probable that the eye 

described as _vair_ was usually assumed to be "various" in color also, of 

the kind we commonly call gray, which is usually applied to blue eyes 

encircled with a ring of faintly sprinkled brown pigment. Such eyes are 

fairly typical of northern France and frequently beautiful. That this was 

the case seems to be clearly indicated by the fact that, as Houdoy himself 

points out, a few centuries later the _vair_ eye was regarded as _vert_, 

and green eyes were celebrated as the most beautiful.[161] The etymology 

was false, but a false etymology will hardly suffice to change an ideal. 

At the Renaissance Jehan Lemaire, when describing Venus as the type of 

beauty, speaks of her green eyes, and Ronsard, a little later, sang: 

 

"Noir je veux l'oeil et brun le teint, 

Bien que l'oeil verd toute la France adore." 

 

Early in the sixteenth century Brantome quotes some lines current in 

France, Spain, and Italy according to which a woman should have a white 

skin, but black eyes and eyebrows, and adds that personally he agrees with 

the Spaniard that "a brunette is sometimes equal to a blonde,"[162] but 

there is also a marked admiration for green eyes in Spanish literature; 

not only in the typical description of a Spanish beauty in the _Celestina_ 

(Act. I) are the eyes green, but Cervantes, for example, when referring to 

the beautiful eyes of a woman, frequently speaks of them as green. 

 

It would thus appear that in Continental Europe generally, from south to 

north, there is a fair uniformity of opinion as regards the pigmentary 

type of feminine beauty. Such variation as exists seemingly involves a 

somewhat greater degree of darkness for the southern beauty in harmony 

with the greater racial darkness of the southerner, but the variations 

fluctuate within a narrow range; the extremely dark type is always 


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