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At Home: A short history of private life

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In At Home, Bill Bryson applies the same irrepressible curiosity, irresistible wit, stylish prose and masterful storytelling that made A Short History of Nearly Everything one of the most lauded books of the last decade, and delivers one of the most entertaining and illuminating books ever written about the history of the way we live.

Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote a lot more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business - eating, sleeping and merely endeavouring to get more comfortable. And that most of the key discoveries for humankind can be found in the very fabric of the houses in which we live.This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, wandering from room to room considering how the ordinary things in life came to be.

Along the way he did a prodigious amount of research on the history of anything and everything, from architecture to electricity, from food preservation to epidemics, from the spice trade to the Eiffel Tower, from crinolines to toilets; and on the brilliant, creative and often eccentric minds behind them. And he discovered that, although there may seem to be nothing as unremarkable as our domestic lives, there is a huge amount of history, interest and excitement - and even a little danger - lurking in the corners of every home.

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Review:

"A work of constant delight and discovery. Bryson's wit is both dry and charmingly goofy. His great skill is to make daily life simultaneously strange and familiar, and in so doing, help us to recognise ourselves. At Home is a treasure: don't leave home without it." (Judith Flanders Sunday Telegraph)

"Enchanting...a book about reinventing the ordinary, and finding the extraordinary in the humdrum business of living...Bryson tackled science in his brilliant A Short History of Nearly Everything. This new book could as easily be categorised as 'a short history of nearly everything else'...extraordinarily entertaining." (Antonia Senior The Times)

"The much-loved writer takes the attention to detail that made A Short History of Nearly Everything such a fantastic guide to all things science, and applies it to our homes. Written in his laid-back style, this is a wonderful celebration of what makes a house a home." (News of the World)

"Quite as ambitious as his A Short History of Nearly Everything. This is a genuinely compelling book...a kind of layman's encyclopaedia full of 'did you know' moments...This companionable volume is as dense as a rich fruit cake and, by the same measure, rewarding, too." (Country Life)

"A charming read that blends scholarship with warm writing and provides an endless source of banter for dinner parties." (Good Housekeeping)

From the Author:

Hello.

Early in the course of my research for my new book I learned that houses are amazingly complex repositories. What I found, to my great surprise, is that whatever happens in the world - whatever is discovered or created or bitterly fought over - eventually ends up, in one way or another, in your house.

Wars, famines, the Industrial Revolution, the Enlightenment - they are all there in your sofas and chests of drawers, tucked in to the folds of your curtains, in the downy softness of your pillows, in the paint on your walls and the water in your pipes.

Houses aren't refuges from history, as I hope you are about to discover in At Home. They are where history ends up.

Bill Bryson

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780767919395: At Home: A Short History of Private Life

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ISBN 10: 0767919394 ISBN 13: 9780767919395
Publisher: Anchor Books, 2011
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9781784161873: At Home: A Short History of Private Life (Bryson, 3)

Black ..., 2016
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9780385537285: At Home: A Short History of Private Life

Double..., 2013
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9780767919388: At Home: A Short History of Private Life

Doubleday, 2010
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9780552772556: At Home: A short history of private life (Bryson)

Black ..., 2011
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