Named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR
A “revelatory” (Wall Street Journal) romp through the intimate details of Victorian life, by an historian who has cheerfully endured them all.
Lauded by critics, How to Be a Victorian is an enchanting manual for the insatiably curious, the “the cheapest time-travel machine you’ll find” (NPR). Readers have fallen in love with Ruth Goodman, an historian who believes in getting her hands dirty. Drawing on her own firsthand adventures living in re-created Victorian conditions, Goodman serves as our bustling guide to nineteenth-century life. Proceeding from daybreak to bedtime, this charming, illustrative work “imagines the Victorians as intrepid survivors” (New Republic) of the most perennially fascinating era of British history. From lacing into a corset after a round of calisthenics to slipping opium to the little ones, Goodman’s account of Victorian life “makes you feel as if you could pass as a native” (The New Yorker).
British social historian Goodman reveals what life was like in the Victorian era in a manner most readers have likely never encountered before: by personally subscribing to Victorian mores and way of life. Goodman's impeccably researched account will raise readers' eyebrows with her adventures "living history." Along the way, she replicates an array of activities and behaviors: she creates and wears numerous styles of period clothing, tries out popular calisthenics for women and girls, uses 19th-century hygiene practices, adjusts to the discomfort of the corset, launders clothes laboriously by hand, and does much else. Goodman has meticulously documented the common Victorian man and woman, explaining practicalities, expenses, and rationales for their actions. For example, a popular scientific notion was that closed windows in rooms were unhealthy, so many people kept their windows open, even in freezing temperatures. Goodman's charming guide richly illustrates what daily life was like for common people undergoing the massive social changes of the time and succeeds in presenting "a more intimate, personal and physical sort of history." Illus.
I enjoyed this book
great interesting read
Such a pleasure to read, wish more of her works were available on here! I devour them!