At Home: Special Illustrated Edition: A Short History of Private Life (Hardcover)
From one of our most beloved authors, a fascinating excursion into the history behind the place we call home—now richly illustrated with more than two hundred images in full color
Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. But, struck one day by the thought that “history mostly is masses of people doing ordinary things,” he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things in life—most of them found inside his front door. At Home is the bestselling story of Bryson’s room-by-room journey around his house, a history of the world written without leaving home. The bathroom provides the occasion for the history of hygiene; the bedroom for an account of sex, death, and sleep; the kitchen for a discussion of nutrition and the spice trade. From architecture to electricity, from food preservation to epidemics, from the telephone to the Eiffel Tower, from crinolines to toilets—and the brilliant, creative, and often eccentric minds behind them—Bryson demonstrates that whatever happens in the world ends up in our houses, in the paint and the pipes and the pillows and every item of furniture.
In this handsome new edition of At Home, Bryson’s sparkling prose is enhanced by some two hundred carefully curated full-color images. Selected from a wide array of sources, these illustrations vividly bring his fascinating and entertaining domestic adventure to visual life. Bryson has one of the liveliest, most inquisitive minds on the planet, and he is a master at turning the seemingly mundane into an occasion for the most diverting exposition imaginable. When you’ve finished this book, you’ll see your house—and your daily life—in a new and revelatory light.
About the Author
Bill Bryson’s many bestselling books include A Walk in the Woods, I’m a Stranger Here Myself, In a Sunburned Country, Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words, A Short History of Nearly Everything (which earned him the 2004 Aventis Prize), The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, and Bryson’s Dictionary for Writers and Editors. Bryson lives in England with his wife and children.
Praise for At Home: Special Illustrated Edition: A Short History of Private Life…
Praise for At Home
“Delightful . . . Bryson’s enthusiasm brightens any dull corner . . . He is fascinated by everything, and his curiosity is infectious.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“If this book doesn’t supply you with five years’ worth of dinner conversation, you’re not paying attention.”
“An exuberant, shared social history . . . Told with Bryson’s habitual brio . . . A personal compendium of fascinating facts, suggesting how the history of houses and domesticity has shaped our lives, language, and ideas.”
—The New York Review of Books
“A treasure trove . . . Playful, yes, but Bryson is also a deft historian.”
—Los Angeles Times
“The experience of reading a Bill Bryson book is something you don’t want to stop—a pip and a spree and, almost incidentally, a serious education. And never tiresome, for Bryson has the gift of being the student and not the tutor.”
—The Washington Post
“Readers who enjoyed Mr. Bryson’s apparently inexhaustible supply of nifty facts in such previous books as A Short History of Nearly Everything . . . will be happy to find the author’s pen as nimble and his narrative persona as genial as ever.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Reading Bill Bryson is like having one of those friends around who’s always discovering something new—some pastime or place or piece of information—and can’t wait to breathlessly pass it along.”
—The Dallas Morning News