At Home: A Short History of Private Life

At Home: A Short History of Private Life

Paperback Black Swan

By (author) Bill Bryson

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  • Publisher: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback | 704 pages
  • Dimensions: 110mm x 178mm x 44mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 26 May 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0552777358
  • ISBN 13: 9780552777353
  • Sales rank: 1,477

Product description

In "At Home", Bill Bryson applies the same irrepressible curiosity, irresistible wit, stylish prose and masterful storytelling that made "A Short History of Nearly Everything" one of the most lauded books of the last decade, and delivers one of the most entertaining and illuminating books ever written about the history of the way we live. Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote a lot more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business - eating, sleeping and merely endeavouring to get more comfortable. And that most of the key discoveries for humankind can be found in the very fabric of the houses in which we live. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, wandering from room to room considering how the ordinary things in life came to be. Along the way he did a prodigious amount of research on the history of anything and everything, from architecture to electricity, from food preservation to epidemics, from the spice trade to the Eiffel Tower, from crinolines to toilets; and on the brilliant, creative and often eccentric minds behind them. And he discovered that, although there may seem to be nothing as unremarkable as our domestic lives, there is a huge amount of history, interest and excitement - and even a little danger - lurking in the corners of every home.

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Author information

Bill Bryson's bestselling travel books include The Lost Continent, Notes from a Small Island, A Walk in the Woods and Down Under. His acclaimed book on the history of science, A Short History of Nearly Everything, won the Aventis Prize for Science Books and the Descartes Science Communication Prize. He has written on language in Mother Tongue and Made in America, and his latest bestsellers are Shakespeare and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. www.billbryson.co.uk.

Review quote

PRAISE FOR "AT HOME: A Short History of Private Life" ..".a delightful stroll through the history of domestic life. Now living in a 19th-century church rectory in Norfolk, England, the author decided to learn about the ordinary things of life by exploring each room in his house.... In a sense, Bryson's book is a history of "getting comfortable slowly..".. Informative, readable and great fun."--"Kirkus Reviews"(starred) "[D]elightful.... Considering our homes means a dash through history, politics, science, sex, and dozens of other fields. If this book doesn't supply you with five years' worth of dinner conversation, you're not paying attention."--"PEOPLE magazine ""Fascinating.... Join this ambiable tour guide as he wanders through his house, a former rectory built in 1851 in a tranquil English village.... [It] takes a very particular kind of thoughtfulness, as well as a bold temperament, to stuff all this research into a mattress that's supportive enough to lo