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How To Be a Victorian [Paperback]

Ruth Goodman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

6 Mar 2014

How to be a Victorian - a time traveller's guide to Victorian Britain by the BBC's Ruth Goodman

We know what life was like for Victoria and Albert. But what was it like for a commoner like you or me? How did it feel to cook with coal and wash with tea leaves? Drink beer for breakfast and clean your teeth with cuttlefish? Dress in whalebone and feed opium to the baby? Surviving everyday life came down to the gritty details, the small necessities and tricks of living.

Drawing on Ruth's unique first-hand experience, gained from living on a Victorian farm for a year, this book will teach you everything you need to know about 19th century living.

If you liked A Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England or If Walls Could Talk, you will love this book.

Popular Historian Ruth Goodman is an expert in nineteenth-century social and domestic history. She has presented a number of BBC television series, including Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm and is a regular expert on The One Show. She spent ten years as a historical advisor to the Royal Shakespeare Company's Globe Theatre and has co-authored three books, including the Number One Bestseller Victorian Farm.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (6 Mar 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067092136X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670921362
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Written with such passion that one cannot help but be carried along . . . Will fascinate and inform anyone who is in any way interested in Victorian ways of life (Dr Ian Mortimer, author of The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England)

A delightful read . . . allows us to see how the Victorians lived from day to day. A triumph (Judith Flanders, author of The Victorian City)

Shocking, exciting, wonderful (Clive Anderson BBC Radio 4)

I absolutely love this book. Exuberant, absorbing ... there's scarcely a detail of Victorian life Ruth has not tried (A N Wilson Mail on Sunday)

Ruth - a woman who possesses so much elbow grease that she could probably can the overflow to sell on the side (Independent)

Beetonian, compendious (Guardian)

Goodman's enthusiasm for history is as palpable as her contempt for misty-eyed interpretations of it (Telegraph)

Highly readable, often amusing and sometimes shocking, this is popular history at its best (BBC Who Do You Think You Are magazine)

Enlightening (Scotland on Sunday)

About the Author

Popular Historian Ruth Goodman is an expert in nineteenth-century social and domestic history and has presented a number of BBC television series, including Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm. She spent ten years as a historical advisor to the Royal Shakespeare Company's Globe Theatre and also appeared in the BBC2 programme 'Tales from the Banquet Hall'. She is a regular presenter on The One Show and has co-authored three books, including the Number One Bestseller Victorian Farm.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and very readable 9 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this. I am studying 19th Century history at the moment but I think lots of people would enjoy reading this. The author works through a typical day: rising, washing, dressing, breakfast, getting to work, etc. All sorts of little fascinating details are included and there are surprising details. Did you know that most Victorians were drug addicts? Did you know that most Victorians were malnourished? Ruth Goodman has good practical experience, she has worn the clothing, made and eaten the food, and so forth. The book is engagingly written, very easy to read and wonderfully informative. I recommend it highly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to be a Victorian 14 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover
How to be a Victorian is Ruth Goodman's very own fantastic voyage into the past. Based on her experiences of living on a [televised] Victorian farm as well as her academic study of the period, with How to be a Victorian Goodman has set out to teach the reader everything they might need to know in order to live as an average 19th century bod. Presumably in order to help time travellers avoid every potential faux pas that they might commit, Goodman's book is structured chronologically and takes the reader through everything they would experience as a Victorian from the time they wake up to when they retire to bed of an evening. Fortunately, the day to day life of an average Victorian turns out to be surprisingly peculiar. Whether it be cleaning your teeth with cuttlefish, fulfilling your employment as a knocker up, or feeding opium to your baby, with How to be a Victorian Ruth Goodman will steer you in the right direction. This is a great book; entertaining and informative, it's packed with factoids and discussion of the average and absurd elements of Victorian life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'm not usually a reader of this genre, but Ruth's lively prose kept me gripped. Books about monarchy and war are all well and good; but sometimes it's the little details of everyday life of ordinary folk that are the most fascinating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb book 19 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I think this book is a must for anyone who likes the Victorian era. Ruth Goodman brings it alive. fab
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please make more! 21 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover
I am a huge fan of Ruth Goodman from her appearances on several farm series on BBC so I was so excited when I saw this book that I bought it straight away. The book is just as charming, knowledgable, friendly and detailed as you would expect from Ruth Goodman. The book takes you through every single detail in the day of a Victorian (giving details even between practices at the beginning, middle and end of the period) and lays them out in chronological order. I have walked away from reading it feeling like I have a bird's eye view on real, living history. My only complaint is that I want another. Maybe next we can find out about wartime life? Hint...hint....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to be a victorian 5 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoy watching Ruth Goodman on tv and her book is just as good brilliant read was sorry when it was finished
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to be a Victorian. 22 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very detailed and very readably written. I learned lots of things I didn't know and enjoyed the ride. I would recommend it to anyone interested in this period of history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous! 6 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One to read again and again, fascinating facts on Victorian life not always mentioned in books on the subject from food right through to sexual stuff and the intricacies of underwear! Well written and in great detail, sometimes a tad waffly but you can forgive her due to her enthusiasm for the subject she is obviously passionate about.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Interesting in small doses
Published 1 month ago by David Mckeown
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great fan of Ruth Goodman's work; she is an engaging and informative writer.
Published 2 months ago by Livia D
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting
interesting stuff
Published 2 months ago by doctornasty
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
Really intersting and enjoyable. Easy to read. Good one Ruth!. Always enjoy your books and look foreward to some more.
Published 4 months ago by kateg
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone interested in the Victorian era
Goodman writes in a easy going style and her enthusiasm and detailed research is easy to digest. This book reveals the small things about everyday lives at intervals throughout the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by J. Speakman
5.0 out of 5 stars Detail
Ruth Goodman's book is researched in intense detail. It is lived history. Much of her information comes from Victorian memoirs and she also has tried things out for herself to... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Julie
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read
A thoroughly engrossing read. Ruth Goodman is as just as interesting to read as he is to watch. This book is full of life and oh, so wonderful. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Tanya Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly fascinating
As always, Ruth Goodman brings her own practical view to the Victorian period. It's a big subject and a lot changed in the 70 years from the 1830's, so she often tells you how... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Neil Lucock
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I loved this book Ruth is one of my fave historians and can't wait to read more from her in future
Published 5 months ago by Abbi G
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