At Home: A Short History of Private Life

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Doubleday Canada, Oct 5, 2010 - Dwellings - 512 pages
25 Reviews
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.

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Review: At Home: A Short History of Private Life

User Review  - Ralphz - Goodreads

This is a fun, fascinating book about our modern age and how it got here - and got into our homes. Bryson uses his own English country home as a framework for exploring innovations and history - and ... Read full review

Review: At Home: A Short History of Private Life

User Review  - Nathan Eaton - Goodreads

This one didn't really meet expectations for me. Somehow, I had it in my mind that it would be about the history of random objects throughout the house. Instead, it was more about the rooms and their ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

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.

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