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At Home - A Short History of Private Life

by Bill Bryson

The Real World

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Shortlisted for the Galaxy Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2010.

 

Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 29 May 2010.

 

July 2010 Good Housekeeping selection.

 

Bill Bryson turns is eyes inwards to look at the everyday things that add up to make the real history of the world. As he ventures around his house he discovers a multitude of things some fascinating, some disconcerting and all talked about in the style we have come to love and cherish from Mr Bryson.

 

At Home - A Short History of Private Life Synopsis

It struck Bill Bryson one day that we devote a lot more time to the Wars of the Roses or the Normandy Landings than considering what most of history really consists of: centuries upon centuries of people quietly going about their daily business - eating, sleeping, having sex, endeavouring to be amused. So he started a journey around his 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 allowed himself delightful digressions on the history of everything from architecture to epidemics, from food preservation to the discovery of electricity, and from crinolines to toilets. And to his dismay, he also encountered a terrifying variety of dangers to our health and happiness. Where the prizewinning A Short History of Nearly Everything was a sweeping survey of Earth, the universe and everything, At Home is an inwards look at all human life through a domestic telescope. Because, as Bryson says, our homes aren't refuges from history. They are where history begins and ends.

The Good Book Guide Review

Edifying and enormously entertaining, Bill Bryson’s latest opus should be ensconced in every home. Struck by the idea that more attention is devoted to studying battles than in appraising the interesting details of ordinary lives, Bryson decides to delve into domestic history, starting with his own home. With droll wit and indefatigable enthusiasm, he considers a vast variety of topics, all linked by the way they have fashioned our everyday lives. ‘Houses aren’t refuges from history. They are where history ends up,’ he says, familiar territory suddenly imbued with startling new hues. Against the odds, his book evolves into a gripping page-turner awash with curious facts and endlessly enlightening information.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780385608275
Publication date: 27/05/2010
Publisher: Doubleday an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780385608275
Publication date: 27th May 2010
Author: Bill Bryson
Publisher: Doubleday an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Hardback
Genres: The Real World,
Categories:

About Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. He settled in England in 1977, and lived for many years with his English wife and four children in North Yorkshire. He and his family then moved to America for a few years but have now returned to the UK. He is the bestselling author of The Lost Continent, Mother Tongue, Neither Here Nor There, Made in America, Notes From a Small Island, A Walk in the Woods, Notes From a Big Country, Down Under and, most recently, A Short History of Nearly Everything. He is also the author of the bestselling ...

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