What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist-The Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England

January 30, 2008 Categories: Books , Reviews | 6 Comments  

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I finished What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist-The Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England by Daniel Pool today, and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves to read 19th century literature. I learned so much – and found many titles to add to my to-read list.

Pool is absolutely thorough in his description of 19th century life. The section titles include:

~ The Basics: explaining currency, measurements, the calendar, and the basics on England and London

~ The Public World: all the titles, social etiquette, calling cards, rituals, sections on the government and the Church of England, and much, much more

~ Transition: Coaches, Horses, the Railroad, the Mail

~ The Country: Life on the farm, who’s who in the country, local government, etc.

~ The Private World: marriage, sex, homes, food, furniture, clothing, and the hierarchy of servants

~ The Grim World: orphans, the workhouse, disease, doctors, and death

The above makes up part one of the book; part two is a detailed glossary of all those terms that we get stuck on when reading the likes of Vanity Fair, Great Expectations, and, of course, Austen’s works. This book will take up a prominent spot on my upstairs bookshelves, because I know I’ll be referring to it many times in the future.

6 Comments

  1. Lawanda

    I totally loved this book. It definitely helped me understand their world better! And definitely made me want to read other 19th century novels! :)

  2. carrie

    Lawanda – Yep, my thoughts, exactly!

  3. Sheila at Dodging Raindrops

    I enjoyed this book very much. I read several passages aloud to my husband.

  4. Sherry

    Ah, yes, not only a TBR book, but also a TBO (to be owned) book. Someday.

  5. carrie

    Sheila – and he didn’t nod off? ;) My hubby just rolls his eyes when I tell him about books like that.

    Sherry – yes, it is definitely one worth owning.

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