Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

How to Be a Victorian: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Victorian Life 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0871404855
ISBN-10: 0871404850
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy new
$16.20
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
List Price: $29.95 Save: $13.75 (46%)
53 New from $12.00
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Qty:1
How to Be a Victorian: A ... has been added to your Cart
More Buying Choices
53 New from $12.00 31 Used from $5.24
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


May's Book with Buzz
"Valiant Ambition" by Nathaniel Philbrick. George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution. See more
$16.20 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • How to Be a Victorian: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Victorian Life
  • +
  • How To Be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life
Total price: $36.43
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Exuberant, absorbing.” (A. N. Wilson)

“Goodman’s impeccably researched account will raise readers’ eyebrows with her adventures “living history”… [Her] charming guide richly illustrates what daily life was like for common people undergoing the massive social changes of the time and succeeds in presenting “a more intimate, personal and physical sort of history."” (Publishers Weekly, Starred review)

“A triumph.” (Judith Flanders)

“Goodman skillfully creates a portrait of daily Victorian life with accessible, compelling, and deeply sensory prose… Compulsively readable.” (Erin Entrada Kelly - Library Journal, Starred review)

“If the past is a foreign country because they do things differently there, we’re lucky to have such a knowledgeable cicerone as Ruth Goodman…. Goodman’s fascination with the objects of the past doesn’t lead her to fetishize or romanticize them. She is admirably matter-of-fact…. Revelatory.” (Alexandra Kimball - Wall Street Journal)

“[E]ntertaining… Goodman mixes historical context with technical know-how; in addition to explaining why women wore corsets she tries wearing―and even making―one herself… [T]he book’s accumulation of detail on matters as diverse as purchasing a ticket for the new underground railway, administering an opium-based tonic to a baby, and signaling interest in a homosexual affair makes you feel as if you could pass as a native.” (The New Yorker)

“Goodman’s research is impeccable, and she attacks the topic with gusto, taking the reader through an average day and presenting the oddities of life without condescension… Although the book lends itself to being read in segments, I read it straight through like a novel, panting to know what would happen next.” (Patricia Hagen - Minneapolis Star Tribune)

“[A] witty account of life during the monarch’s reign… [Goodman’s] interest in historical accuracy leads her to experiment with corsets and home cures. Research for the book led her ‘down harrowing avenues of hunger, disease, overwork, and abuse.’ Among the most upsetting are accounts of small children working harder than most adults do now, sometimes in dangerous and frightening environments, and on empty stomachs. Often a very funny read, the book takes seriously the suffering of these kids and their families.” (Kate Tuttle - Boston Globe)

About the Author

Ruth Goodman is the author of How to Be a Victorian. An historian of British social and domestic life, she has presented a number of BBC television series, including Tudor Monastery Farm. She lives in England.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Liveright; 1st edition (2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871404850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871404855
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.5 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I found this book absolutely fascinating. It's all about the everyday things you wonder about but don't get to learn from most history books - how you would have kept yourself clean, washed your hair, done laundry, cooked, cleaned, etc. The author's experience living as a Victorian in BBC reality shows has enriched this book immensely. She tells us that corsets are surprisingly comfortable, although itchy, and describes how you had to learn to sit and move properly in a crinoline or bustle. The tricks and etiquette of using chamber pots, how privies were kept clean and sweet smelling, dealing with menstruation, looking after babies, cooking on a coal range are all covered. I would recommend this book to anyone who finds the small details of the past as interesting as I do.
Comment 107 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
How To Be a Victorian": A Dawn -to-Dusk Guide to Victorian Life is a fascinating journey to those years between 1837-1901 when Queen Victoria reigned over Great Britain and a quarter of the globe in the expansive British Empire. Goodman looks at daily life based on your years spent actually wearing Victorian clothes, using Victorian clothing and doing laundry and other chores as the typical Victorian citizen would have tackled the job at hand. Goodman is noted historian of British social life and has worked on documentaries of Victorian and Elizabethan living standards at the BBC. She is a native of Nottingham, England.
The book is lavishly illustrated with period prints and a center section of beautiful color photos.
Among the topics covered in this book are":
a. How Victorians dressed and groomed themselves.
b. Sexuality in Victorian Society-the double standard applied!
c. How Victorian women spent long hours on such arduous chores as doing the laundry and preparing meals on old stoves and fires.
d. Schooling in Victorian England from Dame Schools to schools designed for wealthy children.
e. The games from cricket, lawn tennis, rugby, soccer, boxing, horse racing and children s games.
f. Personal grooming
g. Victorian working conditions which were often terrible.
It is said that the past is another country with its own rules and ways of doing business. Goodman has done an excellent job in explaining the Victorian world to 21century readers. This book can be read on a topic you are interested in or from cover to cover. It would serve as an excellent resource in English history, literature or sociology classes at the university level. Relish and enjoy this gem of a book based on years of research and practical living.
Comment 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
OK, I have to admit it. I'm a huge Ruth Goodman fan. I've watched every episode of the "farm"series Ms. Goodman is in and the Victorian Pharmacy ones as well. It's her enthusiasm as well as her expertise that comes shining through. They both shine through in this book, and that's no mean feat.

Ms. Goodman has lived the life and her research is impeccable. What sets her and this book apart is the empathy and understanding she brings to what would otherwise be merely dry facts. The writing style is her own voice, I can hear her voice as I read.

It's the sort of book that I can sit and read for hours, or pick up, read a bit, or a chapter, and then put it away until I have time to explore Victorian England again. Ms. Goodman paints a picture of the every day minutia that affected those living then as do those same things in our own times.

I have only 2 negative comments to make. The first one is that there is no audiobook available, narrated by Ruth Goodman herself, and that she hasn't written a companion volume for the Tudor age.
6 Comments 47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OMG This is a great book. The author lived the life of a Victorian for a year. Sures opens up my eyes that the Victorian times were not as romantic as I thought. Victorians did not heat their houses and in the dead of winter they left the windows open because they thought the cold was healthy. However, they should have gotten a clue that heat was better since the pubs at the time all had a roaring fire and it was crowded with folks wanting to get warm and have a beverage. People went hungry all the time and the very poor was starving all the time. The work houses were nothing but slave and abuse camps. This book is well written with well researched and personally lived knowledge. So good I read it twice.
1 Comment 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Ruth Goodman's ever since I saw her in Victorian Farm a few years ago, and I love her approach to learning history -- by doing. I'm also a domestic historian and I collect antique and vintage housekeeping manuals and cookbooks to get a peek into the thoughts and actions of everyday people, especially women. This book is like one of the old manuals, but with this improvement: it was written from the experiences of a modern woman who has both read about and lived the Victorian era, during the production of Victorian Farm, Victorian Farm Christmas special, and The Victorian Pharmacy television programs. Ruth includes not only the original information from primary sources, but her own observations and the results of her experimentation with following 19th century methods. The book follows the Victorian woman (and man) through the day, from the time they get up to the time they go to bed at night, as Ruth discusses what they would have done and how they would have done it. Fashion, hygiene, food, housekeeping, animal husbandry, gardening and much more are included. Although Ruth and her teammates Alex and Peter wrote a companion book to the Victorian Farm series, this is Ruth's own book, which goes into much more detail than the earlier book. The illustrations in this book include color photos of original period clothing, domestic tools, and images from newspapers and magazines. If you want to feel the Victorian life for yourself, this book has those little details that don't get mentioned in the original household manuals, or even most letters or diaries from the period, like how to deal with women's menstrual hygiene and other personal issues.
1 Comment 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

How to Be a Victorian: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Victorian Life
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
This item: How to Be a Victorian: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Victorian Life