- Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (January 29, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0297869787
- ISBN-13: 978-0297869788
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.3 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,480,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Million Years in a Day: A Curious History of Everyday Life Hardcover – January 29, 2015
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Praise for A Million Years in a Day
"[Jenner] crafts some fine aphorisms ('History doesn’t repeat itself―people do'), and it would be a staggeringly learned person who could not glean anything new from this work." ―The Wall Street Journal
"Jenner has packed a tremendous amount of historical facts into each short, punchy segment, laced with a good dose of humor. For those fascinated by odd bits of historical trivia and the evolution of modern-day life, Jenner's book provides an entertaining, informative and highly detailed read." ―Shelf Awareness (starred review)
"Told with a quest for the quirky, a zest for satire and some lovely British idioms --- a bathroom is a bog, a kiss is a snog, a cat is a moggy --- Jenner’s lively look at us through the ages is bound to bring on some grimaces, smiles, perhaps even a blush or two. ... A Million Years in a Day delivers a laugh and a lesson on nearly every page." ―Book Reporter
“Bright, fun, and enjoyable. [Jenner] is a natural wordsmith and each sentence is wonderfully crafted . . . An excellent debut from an exciting new author.” ―The History Vault
“With a vivid, colloquial turn of phrase . . . this book is lively, fun, and completely absorbing.” ―Current Archaeology
“Hugely entertaining . . . astonishing insights into the origins of our own everyday life.” ―History Revealed (Book of the Month)
“Erudite, witty, and packed with things you’ve never thought about. It’s one of my all-time favorite books about history. Absolutely brilliant.” ―Dr. Peter Frankopan, University of Oxford, author of The Silk Roads: A New History of The World
"Jenner’s book is an amusing examination of what we humans do with ourselves all day." ―Publishers Weekly
"An in-depth and humorous account of ancient, medieval, and early modern habits." ―Medievalists.net--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Greg Jenner is a British public historian best known for his work as historical consultant and cowriter on the BBC’s multi-award-winning comedy series Horrible Histories. After studying at the University of York for a BA in history and archaeology and an MA in medieval studies, Jenner has worked in the TV industry on award-winning historical documentaries, dramas, comedies, and digital interactive projects for the past eleven years. He lives in the United Kingdom. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
I recommend this book for any person over 12. As a Classicist, i can attest to Jenner's sources and thus feel confident that he has done the necessary research for all his topics.
On that basic premise of comparing anecdote the author delivers and touches on all basic daily routines. However, my expectation was for further exploration into daily matters such as commuting, trade, politics, entertainment, work, education, etc. Over all it is a good read if your aim is to reflect on the very basic personal daily routines.
Jenner's ingeniously constructed book begins as “we” awake on a typical morning and make our way through a typical day, each phase of which --- using the toilet, searching for breakfast goodies in the fridge, walking the dog, dressing, feasting with family, imbibing with friends, brushing our teeth and settling into bed after setting the alarm --- becomes a staging ground for a look back at such routines in ancient days.
Though we may think, for instance, that "pet cemeteries" are a 20th-century phenomenon, Stone Age folk buried or were buried with their favorite furry friends (in one case, a faithful fox). Icons --- recurrent symbols that we associate with computer-speak --- were a means of communication seen on the walls in prehistoric French caves, and in fact formed the building blocks of many modern languages. Examining hygiene, we learn that even chimps wash in water and rub their bodies with “sweet-smelling forest fruits.” According to Jenner, there is nothing, or very little, absolutely new or totally modern about modern existence.
Told with a quest for the quirky, a zest for satire and some lovely British idioms --- a bathroom is a bog, a kiss is a snog, a cat is a moggy --- Jenner’s lively look at us through the ages is bound to bring on some grimaces, smiles, perhaps even a blush or two. Did we in the US really create a law to curtail the consumption of alcohol that actually increased its use and made it far more dangerous? Pious medieval monks got drunk on their daily grog; Victorians took such pride in their toilets that they decorated the inside of the bowl with lovely paintings; tin cans were in use for years before anyone ever thought of inventing a can opener.
While revealing and poking fun at the foibles of our ancestors and our modern selves, Jenner manages to slip in a slew of important points: “focus” is the Latin word for hearth, for example, creating a warm familial image worth contemplating in any era.
A history of life’s simple but significant rituals and how they might have developed, been forgotten and then redeveloped, A MILLION YEARS IN A DAY delivers a laugh and a lesson on nearly every page.
Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott
This book does not tell us about kings or generals. It’s not about invasions or wars. It’s about daily life, the things that affected every single person, no matter how rich or poor. Like the toddler’s book says, everybody poops. Everybody also wears some kind of clothing and eats. This is the history of both royalty and the common person. And it’s a really fun book. They should give this book to pre-teens to get them sucked into how interesting history is.