At Home: A Short History Of Private Life

by Bill Bryson

Doubleday Canada | October 4, 2011 | Trade Paperback

At Home: A Short History Of Private Life is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 2.
From the author of that classic of modern science writing, A Short History of Nearly Everything, comes a work of what you might call domestic science: our homes, how they work, and the fascinating history of how they got that way.

Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as found in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to "write a history of the world without leaving home." The bathroom provides the occasion for a history of hygiene; the bedroom, sex, death, and sleep; the kitchen, nutrition and the spice trade; and so on, as Bryson shows how each has figured in the evolution of private life. Whatever happens in the world, he demostrates, ends up in our house, in the paint and the pipes and the pillows and every item of furniture.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 592 pages, 7.97 × 5.17 × 1.17 in

Published: October 4, 2011

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385661649

ISBN - 13: 9780385661645

Found in: Art and Architecture

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Bryson at his best! Bill Bryson takes us through a wonderful journey through each room recounting the connected history to today's modern comforts. Bryson connects the Victorian Age as the precursor to our modern concept of home sweet home. The writing style is easy on the eyes and Bryson's lucidity is to be admired. Great stuff making me anxious for his next book.
Date published: 2012-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Informative but Interesting! Bill Bryson uses his usual humor to make a story out of history. Vastly entertaining this book lets you learn without knowing that you're doing so.
Date published: 2011-11-05

– More About This Product –

At Home: A Short History Of Private Life

by Bill Bryson

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 592 pages, 7.97 × 5.17 × 1.17 in

Published: October 4, 2011

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385661649

ISBN - 13: 9780385661645

Read from the Book

• CHAPTER I • THE YEAR     I In the autumn of 1850, in Hyde Park in London, there arose a most extraordinary structure: a giant iron-and-glass greenhouse covering nineteen acres of ground and containing within its airy vastness enough room for four St. Paul’s Cathedrals. For the short time of its existence, it was the biggest building on Earth. Known formally as the Palace of the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, it was incontestably magnificent, but all the more so for being so sudden, so startlingly glassy, so gloriously and unexpectedly there . Douglas Jerrold, a columnist for the weekly magazine Punch , dubbed it the Crystal Palace, and the name stuck.   It had taken just five months to build. It was a miracle that it was built at all. Less than a year earlier it had not even existed as an idea. The exhibition for which it was conceived was the dream of a civil servant named Henry Cole, whose other principal claim to history’s attention is as the inventor of the Christmas card (as a way of encouraging people to use the new penny post). In 1849, Cole visited the Paris Exhibition— a comparatively parochial affair, limited to French manufacturers— and became keen to try something similar in England, but grander. He persuaded many worthies, including Prince Albert, to get excited about the idea of a great exhibition, and on January 11, 1850, they held their first meeting with a view to opening on May 1 o
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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION
 
I THE YEAR
II THE SETTING
III THE HALL
IV THE KITCHEN
V THE SCULLERY AND LARDER
VI THE FUSE BOX
VII THE DRAWING ROOM
VIII THE DINING ROOM
IX THE CELLAR
X THE PASSAGE
XI THE STUDY
XII THE GARDEN
XIII THE PLUM ROOM
XIV THE STAIRS
XV THE BEDROOM
XVI THE BATHROOM
XVII THE DRESSING ROOM
XVIII THE NURSERY
XIX THE ATTIC
 
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
BIBLIOGRAPHY
ILLUSTRATION CREDITS
INDEX


From the Hardcover edition.

From the Publisher

From the author of that classic of modern science writing, A Short History of Nearly Everything, comes a work of what you might call domestic science: our homes, how they work, and the fascinating history of how they got that way.

Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as found in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to "write a history of the world without leaving home." The bathroom provides the occasion for a history of hygiene; the bedroom, sex, death, and sleep; the kitchen, nutrition and the spice trade; and so on, as Bryson shows how each has figured in the evolution of private life. Whatever happens in the world, he demostrates, ends up in our house, in the paint and the pipes and the pillows and every item of furniture.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

BILL BRYSON''s books include A Walk in the Woods, I''m a Stranger Here Myself, In a Sunburned Country, Bryson''s Dictionary of Troublesome Words, A Short History of Nearly Everything, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid and Bryson''s Dictionary for Writers and Editors. Bryson lives in England with his wife and children.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

"Bryson is fascinated by everything, and his curiosity is infectious . . . [his] enthusiasm brightens any dull corner. . . . You''ll be given a delightful smattering of information about everything but . . . the kitchen sink."
— The New York Times Book Review

"Bryson''s gift for finding amazing facts and fascinating connections between people and events makes this another enjoyable sprawling read through many things you didn''t know you wanted to know."
— National Post

“Absolutely fascinating.”
—The Moderate Voice

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