At Home: A Short History of Private Life
“Houses aren’t refuges from history. They are where history ends up.” 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... show more
“Houses aren’t refuges from history. They are where history ends up.”
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 he found it 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 demonstrates, ends up in our house, in the paint and the pipes and the pillows and every item of furniture.
Bill Bryson has one of the liveliest, most inquisitive minds on the planet, and he is a master at turning the seemingly isolated or mundane fact into an occasion for the most diverting exposition imaginable. His wit and sheer prose fluency make At Home one of the most entertaining books ever written about private life.
Publish date: 2011-10-04
Pages no: 592
Edition language: English
Home is the place we feel utterly comfortable. Things are arranged the way we like. The place smells right. When I come home from a long trip, I can feel my shoulders come down from around my ears and everything relaxes. We like to think of ourselves as the masters of our home, but there is a surpri...
bookshelves: spring-2015, tbr-busting-2015, published-2010, microhistory, nonfiction, a-cut-above, aga-saga, anti-q-s, architecture, art-forms, britain-england, history, fascinating-fayre Read from July 09, 2012 to April 22, 2015 Read by His Nibs himself.Description: “Houses aren’t refuges fro...
When he found a forgotten corner of his Norfolk, UK, home, and discovered an odd door to the outside world from his roof, it struck Bill Bryson how much common history was in the landscape and the house beneath him. He decided to write a book exploring it all, room by room, and turned it into a pott...
I've read so many of Bill Bryson's histories and loved them all. I now know more about sewage, building materials, microscopic bugs and the year 1851 than I ever thought I would!
Was at the airport bookshop with my sister, looking for something to bring along to our Sri Lanka + Maldives trip. I recommended this to her (feeling slightly guilty because I myself hadn't finished reading the science/history version of this), but she flipped through it and pronounced it boring, so...