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Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England from 1811-1901 Paperback – Feb 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: F+w Media, Inc. (Feb 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158297280X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582972800
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 396,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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During the nineteenth century, modes of lighting underwent drastic changes. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Aug 1999
Format: Hardcover
I am very much interested in the Regency and I thought this book will be a quick reference guide. Most of the book is Victorian. You may find snippets of Regency here and there, but as a good reference guide, it is most certainly not! For good reference, get "What Jane Austen ate..." Most Disappointing!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 July 1999
Format: Hardcover
I bought this expecting it would offer some additional insights to my `academic hobby' of Victorian Domestic Science. No such luck; Hughes' book didn't tell me a thing.
It _did_ contain a number of things that differed from several other period sources, though. It also frequently ignores the class issue, leaving the hapless reader to (usually incorrectly) assume that various things didn't...vary much from the lower to upper classes. As other reviewers have noted out, the time span is a bit confused; Victorianism did not die out in 1901 but the book rarely even ventures to the last years of the 1800s, and while I don't know much of the Regency period, it seems incomplete there as well. No room is left for comparative analysis, and at times one is left wondering if X changed at all over ninety years.
And while this seems petty, I simply did not enjoy the writing style. It is not sufficiently well-organized to be a pure reference work, and not sufficiently well-written to be an enjoyable read. Persons looking for the latter should probably look for the aforementioned "What Jane Austen ate, etc" title, and persons looking for the former are well advised to spend their money adding to their collections of reprints or original texts from their period of interest.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Jun 1999
Format: Hardcover
It is impossible to sum up social life and culture for the 19th century, and authors simply should not try. Hughes' book is a good example. It certainly has many pieces of useful information for both writers and scholars--I never knew that the Adelphi Theater was only open from October to April, for example--and Hughes' tracing of certain topics such as indoor lighting or the railways are concise and intriguing.
Unfortunately, she doesn't explain her terms nearly enough, and the quotations from contemp- orary sources seem overused--as though all of those period recipes were simply padding out space. There's an entire paragraph devoted to the etiquette of "cutting" which is completely incomprehensible if you are not first aware of the actual meaning of social cuts. Also, Hughes does not really work within context well; she doesn't seem to understand that etiquette books were not so much used by those in the upper circles, but by those aspiring to move upwards, or that the very reason for a plethora of etiquette books implies that they are needed--in other words, people are *not* following proper etiquette in their daily lives.
The writer of Victorian-based historical novels would do well to have this book on her reference shelf, but the casual reader will do better to read Sally Mitchell's Daily Life in Victorian England. This book would have been much more useful if it had narrowed its topic and explored them in greater depth.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Dec 1998
Format: Hardcover
The title should have been "A Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Victorian England". While there is a wealth of information on Victorian era customs and daily life, there is very little on the Regency period. Even when the book makes general statements these statements are often applicable only to the Victorian era. As a Regency writer myself, I would caution other writers not to rely on this book for Regency period information.
There were great differences between the Regency and Victorian eras, obvious differences such as changes in fashion, or the rapid industrializiation, and more subtle differences such as transformations in public and private behavior.
Recommended for Victorian authors, but for Regency authors you would be better served to seek out a copy of "The Regency Companion" by Laudermilk & Hamlin.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Aug 1998
Format: Hardcover
This work is structured more like a history book with various topics of life. A major flaw, it lacks a glossary of period terms and expressions. While there are many interesting and amusing quotes and anedotes cited, as a whole it seems to like the style and flair of "What Jane Austen ATe and Charles Dickens Knew" by Daniel Pool. Its basic emphasis on giving you a historical account of facets of the period rather than a true insight as to what life was like.
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