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A Brief History of Life in Victorian Britain…

A Brief History of Life in Victorian Britain (2008)

by Michael Paterson

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632188,983 (3.15)10



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Although a lot of the information in this book is generally known, it is ideal as a light read as it describes many facets of Victorian life without going into great depth. Even so, there was still plenty of information that was interesting. I particularly enjoyed the instructions for enthusiasts of the bicycling craze:

"Hold the handle with the left hand and place the other on the seat. Now take a few running steps, and when the right foot is on the ground give a hop with that foot, and at the same time place the left foot on the step, throwing your right leg over on to the seat. Nothing but a good running hop will give you time to adjust your toe on the step as it is moving. It requires a certain amount of strength and agility."

I'm glad I learned in a later era. ( )
  VivienneR | Dec 10, 2014 |
This is an incredibly rosy look at life in Victorian Britain, largely the lives of the upper and middle classes and largely just London. He says the workhouses weren't really grim at all, guys, they were great! Phew!

While presenting interesting information, as one would expect, the author sometimes inserts opinions about modern life that don't really have a place in the book and grated on me (there was a line about how we're "obsessed with political correctness today," which, sorry, we're more aware of how language hurts and the histories of certain words and less willing to cause further hurt by some ridiculous refusal to change vocabulary, it's not about correctness or politics, it's about being a decent human).

Then, especially in the last quarter or so of the book, he repeatedly talks about how colonization was actually good and imperialism shouldn't be a bad word. Yeeaah... I stopped the audiobook with forty seconds to go because it was frankly a little disgusting. ( )
3 vote mabith | Nov 3, 2014 |
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To Malcolm Brown

Few are privileged to have a kinder friend
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By virtue of her long reign over what was then the world's wealthiest, most powerful and influential nation, it was inevitable that Victoria would giver her name to the era in which she lived. (Chapter 1)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0762435186, Paperback)

The Victorian era has dominated the popular imagination like no other period, but the familiarity with later 19th-century stories and history tends to give us a distorted view. Using character portraits and key events, Paterson brings the world of Victorian Britain alive, from the lifestyles of the aristocrats to the depths of the London slums.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:11 -0400)

Using character portraits, events, and key moments, Michael Paterson brings the real life of Victorian Britain alive - from the lifestyles of the aristocrats to the lowest ranks of the London slums.

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