At Home: A Short History of Private Life

Front Cover
Doubleday Canada, Oct 4, 2011 - Dwellings - 592 pages
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.
 

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User Review  - m.belljackson - www.librarything.com

This should have been a 5 Star review of a comprehensive and enlightening history of a house bought by Bill Bryson. Instead, I am appalled by the overriding focus on the dollar sign wealth of mainly ... Read full review

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User Review  - Eoin - www.librarything.com

3.6 An entertaining collection of loosely related facts. Many moments, but lacking an over-arching whole. Worth it for Paxton or rats in teams. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
22
Section 2
30
Section 3
163
Section 4
184
Section 5
207
Section 6
220
Section 7
236
Section 8
242
Section 9
247
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About the author (2011)

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.

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