Consuming Passions: Leisure and Pleasure in Victorian Britain

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9780007172955: Consuming Passions: Leisure and Pleasure in Victorian Britain

A delightful and fascinating social history of Victorians at leisure, told through the letters, diaries, journals and novels of 19th-century men and women, from the author of the bestselling ‘The Victorian House’.

Imagine a world where only one in five people owns a book, where just one in ten has a knife or a fork – a world where five people out of every six do not own a cup to hold a hot drink. That was what England was like in the early 18th-century. Yet by the close of the 19th-century, the Industrial Revolution had brought with it not just factories, railways, mines and machines but also fashion, travel, leisure and pleasure.

Leisure became an industry, a cornucopia of excitement for the masses. And it was spread by newspapers, by advertising, by promotions and publicity – all eighteenth, not 20th-century creations. It was Josiah Wedgwood and his colleagues who invented money-back guarantees, free delivery and celebrity endorsements. New technology such as the railways brought audiences to ever-more-elaborate extravaganzas, whether it was theatrical spectaculars with breathtaking pyrotechnics and hundreds of extras, ‘hippodramas’ recreating the battle of Waterloo, or the Great Exhibition itself, proudly displaying ‘the products of all quarters of the globe’ under twenty-two acres of a sparkling ‘Crystal Palace’.

In ‘Consuming Passions’, the bestselling author of ‘The Victorian House’ explores this dramatic revolution in science, technology and industry – and how a world of thrilling sensation, lavish spectacle and unimaginable theatricality was born.

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Review:

‘Flanders is a sensible guide to this world, and her book is suitably fat and fact-packed…this is a generous survey of a world that is both far stranger and far more familiar than the one we think we know.’ Telegraph

‘“Consuming Passions” tells the story of Victorian leisure and pleasure as an interrelated and intricate set of transformations…no single book could bind so complex and vast a field within a single theory…(it) leads its crocodile of readers on an eccentric, meandering path through the question of how Victorians took pleasure…its pursuit proves a fascinating, bewildering, marvel-crammed quest.’ Guardian

‘It is a world explored with much wit and insight…Flanders is excellent…It’s a rich mix [and]…fluently written…It has every chance of becoming a bestseller.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Formidable…[an] excellent study…a major achievement.’ Observer

‘…her book, which is about the ways our forebears enjoyed themselves, is itself pure pleasure from beginning to end… [Flanders] is encyclopaedic in her range…This book is packed with goodies as a rich Victorian Dundee cake. Seldom has painstaking academic research been put to better use to produce a work which is pure joy. Every page crammed with interest.’ Daily Mail

‘If there’s a better social history this year, then I will eat my crinoline.’Sue Baker, Publishing News

‘Bulging bran-tub of a book, wonderfully rich and hugely enjoyable…There is something dizzily acrobatic about the mountains of evidence she constructs, and she produces her punch lines with a conjuror’s panache.’ The Sunday Times

‘Flanders is engagingly precise.’ FT Magazine

'A fascinating, kaleidoscopic exploration of what Victorians did for fun.' thelondonpaper

'Deeply satisfying…Bursting with original research and statistics, it gives a panoramic view of Victorians at play.' Country Life

'I don't think anybody could read this book without learning something new and finding things of interest. Flanders has an eye for piquant details.' The Spectator

'”Consuming Passions” is an absorbing Gladstone bag of a book, from which curious items spill out in delightful profusion, some familiar, some very strange indeed.' The Literary Review

'Full of fascinating nuggets, this book puts our modern obsession with buying stuff firmly into context. Reverting and revealing.' Time Out

Daily Telegraph:

'...a world that is both far stranger and far more familiar than
the one we think we know.'

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Flanders, Judith
Published by HarperPress, London (2006)
ISBN 10: 0007172958 ISBN 13: 9780007172955
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Book Description HarperPress, London, 2006. Cloth. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. This book presents a delightful and fascinating social history of Victorians at leisure, told through the letters, diaries, journals and novels of 19th-century men and women from the author of the bestselling "The Victorian House". Imagine a world where only one in five people owns a book, where just one in ten has a knife or a fork - a world where five people out of every six do not own a cup to hold a hot drink. That was what England was like in the early eighteenth century. Yet by the close of the nineteenth century, the Industrial Revolution had brought with it not just factories, railways, mines and machines but also brought fashion, travel, leisure and pleasure. Leisure became an industry, a cornucopia of excitement for the masses. And it was spread by newspapers, by advertising, by promotions and publicity - all eighteenth, not twentieth century creations. It was Josiah Wedgwood and his colleagues who invented money-back guarantees, free delivery, and celebrity endorsements. New technology such as the railways brought audiences to ever-more-elaborate extravaganzas, whether it was theatrical spectaculars with breathtaking pyrotechnics and hundreds of extras, 'hippodramas' recreating the battle of Waterloo, or the Great Exhibition itself, proudly displaying 'the products of all quarters of the globe' under twenty-two acres of a sparkling 'Crystal Palace'. In "Consuming Passions", the bestselling author of "The Victorian House" explores this dramatic revolution in science, technology and industry - and how a world of thrilling sensation, lavish spectacle and unimaginable theatricality was born.604pp. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 030385

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Judith Flanders
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Book Description UK General Books, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0007172958

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Book Description UK General Books, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New item. Bookseller Inventory # QX-000-85-4815004

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