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10/15/2010 12:40 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Bill Bryson On Stephen Colbert: How Did People Have Sex When Everyone Lived In The Same Room? (VIDEO)

Stephen Colbert asked author Bill Bryson about his new book "At Home: A Short History of Private Life" on his show last night, saying: "What about bedrooms. Are those new?"

"Originally, in the original hall houses in the middle ages, there were no bedrooms," Bryson said. "So everybody lived and slept together."

Shocked, Colbert asked: "How did you make more people in front of everybody else?"

"You made more people in front of everybody else," Bryson replied calmly.

"Really?!" Colbert exclaimed. "Well, it wasn't as boring as I thought [back then]. There was your entertainment!"

"Our ideas of privacy are really very recent," Bryson explained. "Right up until about 1800, it was not at all uncommon for servants to sleep at the foot of the bed."

What other shocking secrets about life at home does Bryson reveal in his new book?

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