Ix (alpha_orionis_v) wrote in little_details,

Blindness in 17th Century England

So, I dreamed up this odd little idea, and want to try to make something of it. I've spent all day reading a lot of the tags round here, following varied links and occasionally venturing over to Wikipedia, and I've got a pretty good start point.

Setting: mid-1600s England, during the reign of Charles II.

I've got a character, probably mid-20s or so, who has been blind for a very good portion of his life. The reason isn't too terribly important, but I'm thinking scarlet fever or something similar when he was young (I don't like the idea of cataracts or anything similar that would cause his eyes to look cloudy or white).

What would life be like for someone in this situation? Ideally, I'd like him to be somehow connected to a tailor (possibly a family trade), but what sort of role, if any, would he be able to take? Another thing I haven't quite been able to find would be the social attitude toward someone with this sort of disability, as in how would he be treated by strangers, or just the public in general?

The situation I've got in mind has him living with a family member, maybe a brother or an uncle, and if possible, maybe helping out in small ways around the shop, but is generally seen as being quite useless.

Tags: 1600-1699, uk: history (misc), ~blindness

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