Lucy Worsley's Jane Austen at Home is a richly entertaining and illuminating new audiobook about one of the world's favorite novelists....
In The Art of the English Murder, Lucy Worsley explores this phenomenon in forensic detail, revisiting notorious crimes like the Ratcliff Highway Murders, which caused a nationwide panic....
Kensington Palace is now most famous as the former home of Diana, Princess of Wales, but the palace's glory days came between 1714 and 1760, during the reigns of George I and II....
The Tudor period conjures up images of queens and noblewomen in elaborate court dress, of palace intrigue and dramatic politics....
This exciting history of fashion trends reveals the flamboyant fashions and outlandish outfits adopted (and discarded) by our ancestors....
Judith Flanders, one of Britain's foremost social historians, explores the world portrayed so vividly in Dickens' novels....
On the heels of her triumphant How to Be a Victorian, Ruth Goodman travels even further back in English history to the era closest to her heart, the dramatic period from the crowning of Henry VII....
Imagine you could travel back to the 14th century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? And what are you going to eat....
Working as a housekeeper was one of the most prestigious jobs a 19th and early 20th century woman could want - and also one of the toughest. A far cry from the Downton Abbey fiction....
Clever, headstrong Elizabeth Rose Camperdowne knows her duty....
The lives of England's medieval queens were packed with tragedy, betrayal, love, warfare, adultery, and mystery - but their stories are obscured by centuries of myth and prejudice....
The life of Princess May of Teck is one of the great Cinderella stories in history....
Vicky, Alice, Helena, and Beatrice were historically unique sisters, born to a sovereign who ruled over a quarter of the earth's people and who gave her name to an era: Queen Victoria....
This insightful look at the life of Henry V and the Battle of Agincourt casts new light on a period in history often held up as legend....
When young bookseller Nicholas Elyot discovers the body of student William Farringdon floating in the river Cherwell, it looks like a drowning....
This magnificent biography of Henry VIII is set against the cultural, social and political background of his court and the splendour of his many sumptuous palaces....
Here at last is a history of England that is designed to entertain as well as inform and that will delight the armchair traveler, the tourist, or just about anyone interested in history....
The talented, confident, and intelligent son of John of Gaunt, Henry IV started his reign as a popular and charismatic king after he dethroned the tyrannical and wildly unpopular Richard II....
Why did the flushing toilet take two centuries to catch on? Why did medieval people sleep sitting up? When were the two "dirty centuries?" Why did gas lighting cause Victorian ladies to faint? Why, for centuries, did rich people fear fruit?In her brilliantly and creatively researched book, Lucy Worsley takes us through the bedroom, bathroom, living room, and kitchen. She covers the history of each room and explores what people actually did in bed, in the bath, at the table, and at the stove-from sauce stirring to breastfeeding, teeth cleaning to masturbation, getting dressed to getting married-providing a compelling account of how the four rooms of the home have evolved from medieval times to today.
I found this book irritating. For one it comes across as a compilation of different articles written at different times, because she will mention one tidbit as myth and then later, mention that same bit of information as truth. This was the case with Anne of Cleaves. I studied this period in college and was amazed someone with a PhD would do something so silly. Not just once but at least twice dragging out contradictory information. Secondly, it seemed a little too focused on the aristocracy and their homes. Some mention would be made about the middling and lower classes, but this seemed to be more of a history of the homes of the royal and wealthy.
The narrator has a limited range when capturing voices of other persons/characters when quoting. She gives you enough to know that it is a quote, but no so much that it seems to capture the person. Otherwise, she was ok with the straight reading. If you are determined to buy this listen to the sample and imagine listening to 8 hours of it.
Lastly, this book had me yearning to listen to Bill Bryson's 'At Home' again, which I found to be far more entertaining.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Lucy Worsley???s book is meticulously researched and yet quite engaging and easy to follow. It might sound hard to believe, but the material is truly interesting and thought-provoking. I finished it in two days because I could not put it down. If you like slightly quirky facts to fuel your water-cooler chat, this book is for you.
On the downside, the narrator had a strange sort of hook in her voice that was distracting to me, and I wasn???t fond of her attempts at various accents. However, it wasn???t so distracting as to take away from the overall content. Although not really a downside, the other thing that I wish I???d known when I bought this book is that it is highly England-centric. There is very little information about the rest of Europe or the East.
All in all, this was a satisfying, fascinating and informative look at the way our lives and social structures have been shaped by our living spaces and vice-versa. I think it will appeal to history buffs, Anglophiles and eclectic fact-lovers alike. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
I was disappointed with this book. I expected quirky historical facts, maybe told with some offbeat humor, but what I got was a book that dwelt on the most basic bodily functions. Like some kind of British version of a high school fart joke. I wish I'd listened to other reviewers.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful
Sometimes the missing link between history and our appreciation of it is that personal touch. Names and dates are all well and good, but cause and effect mean so much more. In this way we see how things evolve from then to now. With this book, the appreciation of history is all about appreciating just how good you've really got it by comparison of your ancestors. After reading this book, I defy you to willingly allow farm animals to sleep in your living room floor at night, and I challenge you to believe that life would be better off if your kitchen and/or personal relief facilities were detached from your house, especially in times of bad weather. This and SO much more is explored herein. Most of what we know to be common features of the home are relatively new, and understanding the way things used to be paints a better understanding of what it was like to live in earlier times. After listening to this, I certainly feel like a king in my own castle.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up If Walls Could Talk in three words, what would they be?
If you like history, and the odd anecdotes that make it really fascinating, this book has it in spades. It does wander off its core path to explain historical minutiae, but that is part of the fun. Also, it is told from a very British point of view that may be a touch jarring to an American reader.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
The narrator had a very high, quiet, breathy voice that I do not prefer for Audiobooks. Also, she was terrible with accents. Her German, Russian and Arabian were identical, and her American was not even as close as I have heard British comics using as jokes.
Any additional comments?
The Author debunks several common misunderstandings about the origins of certain words and phrases that 'everyone' thinks they know the true story on.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
I have listened to At Home many times and always learn something new. This book is sort of At Home condensed with Bill Bryson's wit and scholarship.
What was most disappointing about Lucy Worsley’s story?
The book is nonfiction; there is no "story."
How could the performance have been better?
She reads quickly and without inflection.
Do you think If Walls Could Talk needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
Any additional comments?
The author expresses as fact her opinions. Was the exhaust fan really the most important development of the 20th century?
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to If Walls Could Talk the most enjoyable?
To hear how things were done in the past really helps you appreciate the luxuries we have now!
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes!! The time flew by while listening. Great book for one sitting!! Love Lucy's writing!!
This was an informative and entertaining book until the last chapter; when the author turned from historian to prophet.
I enjoyed this much more than I expected to. I'm not sure why I chose it initially, and it did sit in my queue for a couple weeks before I decided to give it a shot, but once I got into it I was enthralled. I was genuinely sorry when it was over. I really learned a lot and hugely enjoyed the narration. I will definitely go back and listen again.
Would you consider the audio edition of If Walls Could Talk to be better than the print version?
I actually think I'd prefer the print version of this book, because I wasn't horribly fond of the narrator's voice, and it's a lot of information to absorb audibly - I also read the book in print and got more out of it that way.
What was one of the most memorable moments of If Walls Could Talk?
The discussion of antique bathing and toilet habits is pretty interesting.
What three words best describe Anne Flosnik’s performance?
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Any additional comments?
It's got a lot of excellent information about houses and customs from many different time periods.