If Walls Could Talk: An intimate history of the home Hardcover – 1 Apr 2011
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'Fascinating history ... it is very useful to have these histories of different purposes brought together under one banner ... highly accessible.' -- The Herald >> 'Almost every page contains [a] diverting nugget. Worsley is like a larky tour guide, whirling us round the seedier corridors of the royal palaces ... it's all terrific fun.' -- Bee Wilson, Sunday Times >> 'Anecdotes, jokes and fascinating facts come thick and fast ... Worsley's eye for quirky detail is so compelling that you quickly find yourself gripped by the most unlikely subjects ... a very enjoyable beginner's guide to British domestic life.' -- Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday >> 'This book has an excellent title.If Walls Could Talk hints at saucy intimacies and salacious secrets - and the reader (blushing, if male), isn't disappointed ... I was glued.' -- Clive Aslet, Country Life >> 'She is almost school-teacherly, but has a naughty twinkle in her eye and a talent for self-deprecating personal intervention that allows her book to wear its learning lightly ... engaging.' --Stella Tillyard, Daily Telegraph
'It all works. From the plethora of detail emerges Worsley's overarching point, which is that "every single object in your home has its own important story to tell".' -- Observer Paperback of the Week >> 'Fascinating intimate history.' --Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A fascinating look at how people really lived, loved and died over the centuries, to tie-in with Lucy Worsley's major television series for BBC2 and BBC4, with Silver River productions, to be broadcast in Spring 2011See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Having said that, it's very readable. If you are looking for an introduction to the subject, then you could do worse than start with this, and then use the good bibliography to delve further into your area of interest.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Written in an easily accessible and interesting way. A good readPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A very interesting book and very well written. Hooray! An author who knows how to use apostrophes - something the writers of half a dozen or more of the most recent books I have... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Anne Holmes
I have very much enjoyed many of Lucy Worsley's programmes on the television and also had the great pleasure of hearing her speak earlier this year. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Debra F
A very interesting and well written history of the home. I would highly recommend it .Published 9 months ago by dollydrops