At Home, A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson makes history accessible and hilarious in this book. He uses the history of his own home near Wymondham as a framework. By wandering from room to room he considers how things in the rooms came about ranging from electric light; to flushing toilets and food preservation.

I was particularly gripped and intrigued with background information about the Crystal Palace local to where I was born and brought up. I particularly found the chapter on fashion outrageously funny. He summarises fashion as the “the age of pointless discomfort”. For example he noted that Pepys wore a wig even though he was worried the hair may have come from a plague victim. I am not noted as a history lover but I loved the book and I’m intrigued to read other historical books now.

Caroline Fernandez

Reserve a copy here.

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