2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Packed with fascinating facts - very well written and readable.,
This review is from: The Garden Cottage Diaries: My Year in the Eighteenth Century (Paperback)
Being a fan of the 'Farm' series on recreating past lives in country areas, I was delighted to find this book, which was recommended to me by someone who knew I loved social history.
Given the demands of modern life and needing to maintain links with friends and family, Fiona Houston did incredibly well to stay in the 18th C as much as she did, during her year re-creating the life of a schoolmaster's wife.
A well tended vegetable garden formed the backbone of her diet and the book is packed with the mostly very simple recipes she used during the year. Gifts of game added some meat to her diet, so not every recipe is totally straightforward to re-create.
I was impressed that she was able to maintain a very spartan regime of personal hygiene and body maintenance- no shampoos, shower gels or moisturisers.
There were times when Fiona had to step back into modern life - the illness and death of her mother in law, for example. Generally these issues aren't touched on - although a sizeable chunk of her year's expenses was on busfares.
This is also a beautifully produced book, with facsimile diary excerpts, dozens of photographs and lovely line drawings making it visually very appealing and a book to keep. Highly recommended.