2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A tantalizing glimpse at ordinary life in the 18th Century,
This review is from: The Garden Cottage Diaries: My Year in the Eighteenth Century (Hardcover)
This is a charming book. It's beautifully laid out and the inclusion of diary entries gives a real immediacy to the story.
I really enjoyed the lists and recipes. And the honesty of the author is refreshing. Yes it breaks the spell when she admits to wearing her jeans until she was finished her heavy labour for the day and to walk the dog. It makes one prone to preach and wonder if she couldn't have researched the time period a bit more and found suitable clothing that allowed her to work. And you do wonder why she didn't set the cottage up with 2 buckets instead of reaching a compromise with an enamel bucket when she realised she needed two.
What most recommends this book is its Scottish perspective. So many living history books are written from the American perspective, especially those pertaining to the 18th C. It would have been nice to have even more detail about day to day tasks other than cooking, and less confessions about using modern transport. However the reader does get a real appreciation of the time things take to do in the pre-industrial age. And when you really think about it you wonder if you could really do any better than the author.
The hardback format does make it a little unwieldy.