If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home

If Walls Could Talk An Intimate History of the Home Lucy Worsley takes us through the bedroom bathroom living room and kitchen covering the architectural history of each room but concentrating on what people actually did in bed in the bath at the

  • Title: If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home
  • Author: Lucy Worsley
  • ISBN: 9780571259526
  • Page: 213
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Lucy Worsley takes us through the bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen, covering the architectural history of each room, but concentrating on what people actually did in bed, in the bath, at the table, and at the stove.

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    1 thought on “If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home”

    1. I am only on page 36 and am already pretty frustrated with this, and I may or may not keep reading. This is exactly the type of chatty, sociological survey that I adore, but I also adore proper citations in my non-fiction. For this book, there's a bibliography, there's a topical index, but there are NO FOOTNOTES. If you tell me that a medieval travel guide used certain phrases, then I want to know what travel guide it was, I don't want to have to pour through the bibliography hoping to stumble a [...]

    2. A very lightweight treatment of a very interesting subject.It turns out that the book is an accompaniment to a television program of the same name that was shown on the BBC. And it reads as such. There are four main sections, looking at the bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen. Within each section there are little bits related to those areas - some are only a page or two, some a little longer. They are written in a very conversational style, and while I'm sure Dr. Worsley has an appropriat [...]

    3. If Walls Could Talk isn’t exactly an academic, peer reviewed, footnoted piece of work, but it is kinda fun as a light read. Some of her etymological claims seem a bit spurious, some I’m sure I’ve heard debunked elsewhere, but it’s entertaining nonetheless. I think it could’ve been more interesting if she’d gone more into the things she experienced for herself like sleeping on a rope bed, blacking a range, etc, etc. That’s a perspective most of us don’t know anything about, and wh [...]

    4. IF WALLS COULD TALK is a fascinating social history of the home. Written in a very chatty and informal manner, it is a breezy read that even the most history-adverse will find fun and easy to get through.A few caveats, however:1) This is about the BRITISH home. Actually, to be even more specific, it is about the ENGLISH home, as Scotland, Wales and Ireland are barely mentioned. American (not to mention non-Western hemisphere) domestic dwellings and habits evolved differently. And while the Unite [...]

    5. This is not a scholarly tome, you don't get bogged down with details. This is a chatty, tour guide type tale of the history of the house. The house in England, I am sure there are hundreds of different stories about houses around the world but they aren't in this book. I am not complaining I am just explaining what you get. Instead of starting at the beginning and working her way to the end, she separates out individual aspects of the home and follows its iteration from the Norman Conquest throu [...]

    6. Мне очень понравилась книга, потому что от неё действительно трудно оторваться: написано живо, интересно и легко. Здесь собраны любопытные и удивительные факты о том, как жили британцы со Средних веков до наших дней: где спали, что ели, что носили, как рожали детей, готовили, [...]

    7. Lucy Worsley opens the door and casts the reader in a medieval one room dwelling. She drags them through the centuries and drops in the court of Henry VIII (repeatedly) and later walks her audience through all the specialised rooms of a Victorian house. She airs the royal bed-sheets and empties the chamber pot (again, repeatedly). In a word, she brings history alive. All the things a modern man (or woman) might instinctively associate with medieval, Tudorian, or perhaps Victorian age, the author [...]

    8. Pretty good micro history of the home!! It's packed with cool trivia about everyday items, expressions and duties. The Medieval times were by far the most interesting! It covers the evolution of the home right up to modern day's environmental issues in a concise conclusion.

    9. Those who heavily read historical-related material are familiar with “odd” rooms, items, and even customs in the common household of the past. However, just how much do you know about the evolution of such things as: toilets or toilet paper, a hair dresser, or a fork? Lucy Worsley, known to BBC audiences for her television host work as the Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, reveals the hidden “lives” of our homes in “If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home”. “If [...]

    10. Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful-William MorrisIf Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home is written in a very readable tone, and covers the four main areas of the house: the bedroom, the bathroom, the living room and the kitchen, from medieval times to the present day. While most of the books I review are Christian, this one is not, and those with delicate sensibilities might be advised to avoid it. As ‘An Intimate History of t [...]

    11. One of my favorite authors, Bill Bryson, had recently published a book in which he takes readers on a tour of his house, examining the history of each object in it. Since I love Bryson's writing style and enjoy learning interesting facts about random objects, this was a book that I was really looking forward to reading. Unfortunately the book wasn't quite what I had expected and after a couple of chapters I set it down permanently. Shortly afterwards I came across If Walls Could Talk, which soun [...]

    12. What there was of it was terribly interesting, there just wasn't enough of it. There were also precious few citations and no footnotes. Each chapter was much too short, and only just scratched the surface. To suit me, each chapter should have been a book of its own. Also, I expected An Intimate History of the Home to be a history reaching back further in time, and ranging over more of the world. This should have been titled An Intimate History of the Home in Britain from the Normans On, With Spe [...]

    13. This book is a companion to a BBC series presented by Lucy Worsley. The book is divided like the show into sections: bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen. I found the first section on the bedroom most interesting. I had no idea that the President/Prime Minister's Cabinet was named after a literal cabinet (closet) and am ashamed to say I never caught on to the fact British homes don't have closets the way our do in the U.S. Some of the information presented in the bedroom section is graphic [...]

    14. This is one of two simultaneous difficult reads, and this is the one that's not worth the effort. Which is very disappointing as it was highly recommended and my interests in design and history were practically lapping at the metaphoric nectar this book was supposed to serve up. I haven't seen the series hosted by the author, Dr. Lucy Worsley - who has one of the world's dream jobs as chief curator at the not-for-profit caretaker charity Historic Royal Palaces - and perhaps her flighty, tip of t [...]

    15. I loved this book. Great piece of history in written form. Interesting, funny, and written with a cracking pace. I learnt a lot, even though I know this type of history quite well. I love Lucy's style. It's like I'm sitting having a chat with her.It took me a while to finish it because I've been reading novels at the same time. But I could have devoured this much faster if I had wanted too. Instead I savoured it. I shall now read her other book "The courtiers" ** Having glanced down the list of [...]

    16. Worsley has collected a large set of amusing anecdotes, mixed it with easily digested history, and presented it as "the history of the home." It's charming, if flighty. If you already know much English history, few things will surprise you--but if you don't, I'm sure you'll find this fascinating and useful for countless ice-breaking dinner conversations.

    17. Strange to have left this unfinished for so long whilst knowing how likeable it is. It's a guilty-pleasure history book: full of fascinating factoids and inferences about every day human behaviour in the past - the kind of thing that could inspire a teenager to do a history degree; however, if gathering evidence for an essay, you'd need volumes like those in the bibliography, as there are no footnotes, and this is obviously just popular narrative history to be devoured like a story.Last year I s [...]

    18. This is the second book that I've read based on a BBC radio program. The first was A History of the World in 100 Objects which I enjoyed a great deal. I wish we had radio programs like that here. In any case the author of this book is the head of the agency that preserves several important British landmarks such as The Tower of London which is why the history of the home is told from a decidedly British point of view. If other cultures contributed to what constitutes our modern dwellings, the id [...]

    19. Надеюсь продержаться еще месячишко на фактах из этой книги, заполняя соцсети фотографиями интерьеров работодателя. Вроде наглядно получается - на картинке свечи, хрусталь, цветы, и подпись: "А вы знали, что раньше свечи ЖРАЛИ в голодные времена?"

    20. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A work of non-fiction by Dr. Lucy Worsley, it gives all kinds of insights into how each room of the home has evolved over time. Along the way, you learn about how certain common expressions came into being and how people lived their daily lives in times gone by. A lot of the history has a British slant, because she is a museum curator in London, but other places and cultures are mentioned also.

    21. Excellent book. Thank you to whoever commented about it on a review of Bill Bryson's At Home, which I have also read. My full review will follow soon.

    22. I'm really not sure why I am so fascinated by how my forebears lived. And I'm not talking about the big stuff, like a biography of Lincoln or Washington or Henry VII. I want to know what the average man did to earn his keep, feed his family, and clean his house. How did he clean himself? What kind of clothes did he wear? How were they fastened (buttons and zippers are relatively modern inventions)? What kind of home did he live in? Were people really half-drunk all the time, as they drank beer i [...]

    23. Making magic by imagining the pastWant to know how Tudor England dealt with a gravy stain on the tablecloth? They peed on it. Or more accurately and with more decorum, the household laundry staff blotted the greasy spot with urine, which it turns out is a great stain-fighting agent. Worsley loves to ham it up and obviously delights in imagining all that history can offer the present. Her interest is infectious and passing on her enthusiasm seems to be her purpose in writing the book. To me, she [...]

    24. This is a fairly lightweight and easy to read discussion of the history of the four main rooms of the house: living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Starting with the medieval manor house with its single large room, the author describes the origins of each separate room, how they were used in the centuries since and what that says about the society of the time. This could have been very dull and dry, but actually it's a lively read, filled with anecdotes and stories of the people of the time [...]

    25. I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley. From the blurb: Why did the flushing toilet take two centuries to catch on? Why did Samuel Pepys never give his mistresses an orgasm? Why did medieval people sleep sitting up? When were the two 'dirty centuries'? Why did gas lighting cause Victorian ladies to faint? Why, for centuries, did people fear fruit? All these questions will be answered in this juicy, smelly and truly intimate history of home life. Lucy Worsley takes us through the bedr [...]

    26. Note: Advance Reader Copy received via Netgalley.Although many comparison will be drawn to Bill Bryson's "At Home" (2010), I believe that Lucy Worsley's addition to our knowledge of the home and home life is superior for several reasons. To be sure, Bryson has his charms, but "At Home" was a particularly disjointed ramble, although an enjoyable one. Worsley, however, manages to stay very much on topic, and focuses less on how the introduction of new technologies and information changed the room [...]

    27. From the title of this book, you might expect a historical treatment of the home itself -- perhaps a book about architecture -- but it's far more than that. Lucy Worsley, chief curator for Britain's Historic Royal palaces, uses the four main rooms of the home -- the bedroom, bathroom, living room, and kitchen -- as a framework for revealing the lives of the people who live within those walls. It sounds dull on paper, but the book is fascinating. And it answers questions I've always wondered abou [...]

    28. The audiobook reader certainly maximized this book's flaws, using odd accents and voices when quoting children, French people, Germans (those two oddly similar), Americans, and various regional English people (also oddly similar). The dragging in of all sorts of tangential history to the "these four rooms" doesn't make the book any less repetitive, and despite the research, this book comes across as oddly speculative. Andwhat is it with British nonfiction that we are ending with the author's vis [...]

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