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Book Review: At Home

At Home: A Short History Of Private Life by Bill Bryson
Rating: 5/5

Not long after moving to an old rectory in Norfolk, Bill Bryson needed to go into his attic to fix a leak. He discovered there was a mysterious door on an external wall that was not visible from outside. This got him thinking about the history of houses, how they are set up; for example; how the different rooms and levels formed and the history of normal people going about their everyday lives. 

This is how the book starts off and I was hooked straight away.

Bryson goes on to talk about the mid 19th century and the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace and how this was significant in terms of science and inventions.

He then tells you about all the important factors and history room by room. Nothing is left out, not even the staircase or the garden!

I loved reading this book. He tells you so much about different scientists and inventors and the happy accidents that have all contributed to how we live today. The roots of so many sayings/phrases become clear when you read this book. Such phrases like “Big wigs” or “Sleep Tight” and the fact that the space in a house called a Larder has nothing to do with lard!

All this fabulous information and it’s so funny too! 

– Sian

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