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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Home Truths.
If Walls Could Talk is a hugely enjoyable book, as equally informed as funny. The author pulls back the curtains and leaves the bedroom door open with relish.

Lucy Worsley's history of the home reveals how much domesticity has changed - or in some cases stayed the same - over the past 500 years. The bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room are used as stages...
Published on 31 Mar 2011 by jenniferangeline

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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but nothing new
I was disapointed by this book. I am extremely interested in domestic history and have read a lot on the subject. From an author with this background I expected to read a lot of new stuff. I really didn't find anything in this that I hadn't read elsewhere.

That said the book was readable and others might enjoy the way it was broken down into small fragments of...
Published on 17 Nov 2011 by fast reader


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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Home Truths., 31 Mar 2011
If Walls Could Talk is a hugely enjoyable book, as equally informed as funny. The author pulls back the curtains and leaves the bedroom door open with relish.

Lucy Worsley's history of the home reveals how much domesticity has changed - or in some cases stayed the same - over the past 500 years. The bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room are used as stages for all manner of historical personages (Henry VIII, Pepys, Queen Victoria) to make their entrances and exits.

Sex, hygiene, science and tradition are also all put under the microscope. One can either read this book in great, delicious chunks or, such are its small chapters, If Walls Could Talk is, fittingly perhaps, an ideal loo book.

Am greatly looking forward to the forthcoming TV series - and I only hope the programmes contain half as much information and humour as this treasure trove of a book.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If walls could talk -, 12 April 2011
"If Walls Could Talk" is the third book by Lucy Worsley that I have read and I was certainly not disappointed. Hugely enjoyable, it is a towering achievement by a great historian. Lucy has produced a work of staggering detail but it is so beautifully written that this reader had no difficulty coping. As in her previous books, one is dazzled by the depth of her research and knowledge of her subject, but drawn into the stories by her intimate style of writing. It is as if one is catching up on the latest gossip with an old friend. What separates Lucy from many other historians for me is the way she manages to balance gravitas with humour. This book had me laughing aloud - a first for a history book. The one problem with her books is that one does not want them to end and is left waiting (impatiently) for the next fix! The television series will go some way to helping. Dr Worsley is rapidly becoming THE historian of her generation. I cannot recommend this book and everything else she has written highly enough.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Original and Enjoyable Work of Popular History., 31 Mar 2011
I didn't want this book to end (indeed my one small criticism would be that we didn't get shown around the garden). The author's warm wit and encyclopaedic knowledge of her subject make this an original and enjoyable work of popular history.
The history of the home is married to that of the story of the nation, as the author uses the bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and living room as prisms by which we can also view broader topics (such as sex, female emancipation, scientific progresss and the lives of royalty and servants alike).
The publishers should also be congratulated for furnishing the book with such gorgeous colour plates.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If Walls Could Talk, 25 April 2011
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
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This book is relevant to every single person as it looks at the intimate history of the home - focusing on the bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen. The book accompanies the television show of the same name, which is equally enjoyable; Lucy Worsley being as engaging as a presenter as she is as an author. I always enjoy her books and The Courtiers and Cavalier: A Tale of Chivalry, Passion, and Great Houses are also available on kindle.

There are so many fascinating facts in this book that it is impossible to list them. If you have any interest in why your house is the way it is and how the rooms in it developed, then this is a must read. The bathroom was the last to appear, but they have all evolved over time, especially in terms of privacy. There is also lots of great details about how our lives have changed along with our homes - we no longer expect to give birth or die at home, except in rare cases, for example - these events having been taken over by hospitals. Worsley discusses both the huge events of our lives and the small details. Highly enjoyable and, with short chapters, a book anyone can dip into and discover an interesting fact about the home and our history. Highly recommended, as are all her books. She's a wonderful author and this is popular history at its best.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Fascinating..., 31 Mar 2011
A fun and fascinating look at the history of the home. Written in a gossipy, accessible style Lucy Worsley guides us through the rooms of a house and discusses a myriad of topics, encompassing fashion, food, sexual mores, royalty, domestic service and more.
There's a gem of a fact or insight to be found on every page. The book is particularly strong on the intimacies and inventions of the Tudor and Victorian Ages.
Should you enjoy the wit and wisdom of QI, or if you read and enjoyed Bill Bryson's history of the home (there's little duplication), you'll love this book too and view your own home in a new light.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 2 May 2011
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Thoroughly enjoyed this look at our social history, based around 4 rooms in our house. A lot of detail on some very personal but pertinant subjects that I've not seen elsewhere. Above all, it is intriguing that we seem to be returning to the medieval principle of open-plan living in our new 21st century homes! This book is a very easy read, not at all dry - I have been learning lots and highly recommend this!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intimate, informative and fun, 29 Nov 2011
Lucy Worsley's book concentrates on the home's four principal rooms, namely, the bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen. Her history of these rooms spans about eight hundred years and is split into multiple mini-chapters of around five to ten pages. The topics covered vary enormously but are nearly always fascinating. As an example, the history of the bedroom includes accounts of the bed, being born, sickness, sex, what to wear in bed, sleeping with the king, a history of sleep, and even the historical dangers of being murdered in bed. The author's style is eminently readable and she always finds something interesting to say that throws light on and makes sense of the way our ancestors lived their lives. By writing short chapters Worsley also makes this an easy book to read in bite sized pieces, although actually the subject matter is sufficiently stimulating to tempt the reader into devouring large chunks at a time. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the history of the domestic home will find this both an informative and enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but careless, 12 May 2012
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This review is from: If Walls Could Talk: An intimate history of the home (Paperback)
I enjoyed the book, but not as much as I thought I would. Lucy Worsley's writing style is very casual, perhaps correct for this subject, but being relatively young, she really should check out her facts before putting her thoughts in writing. Her idea that children really weren't the centre of families until the 70s is total nonsense. My sister and I were chidren of the 50s, children of working-class parents, living in a mid-terrace house. When I was 11 years old, we moved into our own bedrooms with new furniture, so I think my sister and I were certainly the centre of the family!

It was a huge shame that pictures were constantly referred to as 'plate number ...', when the plates weren't numbered at all, and weren't even in the order they were mentioned in the text.

A good book, but could have been better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really interesting, 20 April 2012
By 
Nix "Nix" (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
I didn't really know much about the Georgian period before reading this book. It's easy to read and very informative. The author really brings the characters to life. Can highly recommend along with her other book 'if walls could talk'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If Walls Could Talk - quite brilliant, 17 April 2012
By 
Diana M. Wilson (Staines, Middlesex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a book based on the TV series by Lucy Worsley. It was a very interesting series; the author is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and she is one of those people who can convey her enthusiasm to others. I was sure that the book would be equally interesting, and I was not disappointed. I also knew that it is the sort of book I shall want to re-read - when I enjoy a book I go on enjoying it and in this case there is so much detail without every becoming boring. A real page-turner!
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If Walls Could Talk: An intimate history of the home
If Walls Could Talk: An intimate history of the home by Lucy Worsley (Paperback - 5 Jan 2012)
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