Have you ever seen the film 'The Scarlet Letter'? It was adapted from the book by Nathaniel Hawthorne (written in 1850) and is about a woman who has an affair, gets pregnant, and refuses to name the father. As
|Demi Moore in 'The Scarlet Letter' (1995)|
From 1697, individuals who were receiving poor relief from the parish had to wear a 'P' badge to show they were a pauper.
'Bawdy badges' were more like a brooch - but usually rather explicit in nature; the idea being that the Devil would be so fascinated by the bawdy badge, that the 'evil eye' would forget to look at the wearer...
If you were a pilgrim, it became quite fashionable to wear a badge to show where you had been (and it was even thought that some badges had miraculous powers). Lionheartreplicas.co.uk states that "the most popular shrines were able to sell in excess of 100,000 badges a year, making pilgrim badges the first truly mass produced tourist souvenir."
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