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How To Be a Victorian by Ruth Goodman

How To Be a Victorian (original 2013; edition 2014)

by Ruth Goodman

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4772033,934 (4.16)25
Drawing on her own adventures living in re-created Victorian conditions, Goodman serves as our bustling and fanciful guide to nineteenth-century life. Proceeding from daybreak to bedtime, she celebrates the ordinary lives of the most perennially fascinating era of British history. From waking up to the rapping of a "knocker-upper man" on the window pane to lacing into a corset after a round of calisthenics, from slipping opium to the little ones to finally retiring to the bedroom for the ideal combination of "love, consideration, control and pleasure," the weird, wonderful, and somewhat gruesome intricacies of Victorian life are vividly rendered.… (more)
Title:How To Be a Victorian
Authors:Ruth Goodman
Info:Viking (2014), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library, To read

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How to be a Victorian by Ruth Goodman (2013)



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» See also 25 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
this is one of the most engaging history books I have read in years. I read it at the same speed I would read a novel, picking it up whenever I could.
The mix of hands on experience and historical research peppered with first hand accounts was perfect. I recommend it to anyone wanting to know more of the period.
My full review: http://postej-stew.dk/2015/05/how-to-be-a-victorian/ ( )
  macthekat82 | May 26, 2018 |
3.5 stars ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
I'm a fan of novels set in the Victorian period, and thought I knew a little bit about how Victorian people lived as a result. How wrong I was!

How To Be A Victorian delves into every detail of Victorian people's daily lives to serve up a fascinating mix of facts, diary entries and anecdotes from Ruth Goodman's own experiences of attempting to live like a Victorian.

What I love most about the book is that it covers the experiences of working class Victorians in extensive detail, while also exploring the lives of the middle and upper classes. As you might expect, their experiences were all rather different, but also shared a number of similarities due to the prevailing views of the age.

I also found it interesting to see how life changed throughout Victoria's reign. It's easy to forget that she was queen for a particularly long period of time compared with most other monarchs, and things didn't stay the same throughout, with many technological marvels like electricity only coming into full force towards the end of the Victorian age.

There's a lot of information to pick through - almost too much, as I found when I decided to skip the section on sports! - but it's all presented in a really easy to follow way, with plenty of illustrations too.

This is a great read for anyone with even a passing interest in the Victoran age. ( )
  mooingzelda | Mar 9, 2018 |
This was an enjoyable and incredibly readable non-fiction account of what real Victorian life was like for every level of British society. ( )
  lissabeth21 | Oct 3, 2017 |
Another book by Ruth Goodman. I have been wanting to read this one for awhile now, I just loved her in the various "Farm" series. I learned quite a bit on everyday life from this one. I was actually surprised at how much I didn't know about how people lived in this era, but I think it's because I've focused on the aristocracy and this book focuses on the middle and lower classes. I will admit the chapter on sport took a bit to get through, while I liked learning about football (soccer) the rest of it just didn't interest me. The best part is she lived like a Victorian for about a year while filming one Victorian Farm so she could give some insight on how things worked and how comfortable some of the clothing was. ( )
  Diana_Long_Thomas | Apr 21, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ruth Goodmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hagger, DarrenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Joy, George WilliamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tomlinson, PatienceNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To all those who persuaded me to step forward into the nineteenth century.
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It began with a shiver.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Getting up -- Getting dressed -- A trip to the privy -- Personal grooming -- Morning exercise -- Breakfast -- The main business of the day -- Back at the house -- The midday meal -- The day's work resumes -- Meanwhile, for the young, there was school -- A few snatched hours of leisure -- The evening meal -- A bath before bed -- Behind the bedroom door.
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