At Home: A Short History of Private Life

Front Cover
Doubleday, 2010 - Dwellings - 536 pages

Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote a lot more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business - eating, sleeping and merely endeavouring to get more comfortable. And that most of the key discoveries for humankind can be found in the very fabric of the houses in which we live. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, wandering from room to room considering how the ordinary things in life came to be.

Along the way he did a prodigious amount of research on the history of anything and everything, from architecture to electricity, from food preservation to epidemics, from the spice trade to the Eiffel Tower, from crinolines to toilets; and on the brilliant, creative and often eccentric minds behind them. And he discovered that, although there may seem to be nothing as unremarkable as our domestic lives, there is a huge amount of history, interest and excitement - and even a little danger - lurking in the corners of every home.

Where A Short History of Nearly Everything was a sweeping panorama of the world, the universe and everything, At Home peers at private life through a microscope. Bryson applies the same irrepressible curiosity, irresistible wit, stylish prose and masterful storytelling that made A Short History of Nearly Everything one of the most lauded books of the last decade, and delivers one of the most entertaining and illuminating books ever written about the history of the way we live.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
3
4 stars
10
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0

A favorite

User Review  - kphonestly - Overstock.com

a gift the person loves the book picks it up and reads it randomly one of her favs Read full review

Review: At Home: A Short History of Private Life

User Review  - Victoria Hess - Goodreads

I like this book a lot. Couldn't put it down. Learned a lot. gave it five stars, but I question the premise set forth in the title. First, a couple of notes. This book overwhelmingly deals with ... Read full review

All 12 reviews »

Other editions - View all

About the author (2010)

Bill Bryson's bestselling travel books include The Lost Continent, Notes from a Small Island, A Walk in the Woods and Down Under. His acclaimed book on the history of science, A Short History of Nearly Everything, won the Aventis Prize for Science Books and the Descartes Science Communication Prize. He has written on language in Mother Tongue and Made in America, and his latest bestsellers are Shakespeare and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.

www.billbryson.co.uk.

Bibliographic information