We’ve all been taught that the Puritans were a dark, dismal bunch. Our teachers lied to us:
Contrary to popular impression, the Puritan was no ascetic. If he continually warned against the vanity of the creatures as misused by fallen man, he never praised hair shirts or dry crusts. He liked good food, good drink and homely comforts; and while he laughed at mosquitoes, he found it a real hardship to drink water when the beer ran out.
John Owen, probably the greatest Puritan theologian, would walk through Oxford ‘hair powdered, cambric band with large costly band strings, velvet jacket, breeches set round at knees with ribbons pointed, and Spanish leather boots with cambric tops.’