How to Be a Victorian by Ruth Goodman

How to Be a Victorian is a fascinating read that takes one into a past era. It also gives the reader great perspective on our own era: I frequently found myself wondering what Victorians would think of sheer abundance of food and products available in the western world today.

The author has spent extensive periods living as a Victorian, using Victorian customs and technologies, and this provides a level of insight that the average historian cannot give. The author herself makes the interesting point that one cannot get a sense of what historic dress was like from theatrical costumes, as these only approximate the outward appearance.

The amount of layers that people wore – particularly infants – along with the laundry facilities available are quite staggering.

Certainly an important research text for anyone writing in this era.

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