Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Visitor's Guide to Georgian England by Monica Hall

book cover
A Visitor's Guide to Georgian England
by Monica Hall

ISBN-13: 9781473876859
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Pen & Sword
Released: Oct. 19, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
Find yourself immersed in the pivotal world of Georgian England, exciting times to live in as everything was booming; the Industrial Revolution, the Enlightenment, and the nascent Empire. You will find everything you need to know in order to survive undetected among the ordinary people. What to wear, how to behave yourself in public, earn a living, and find somewhere to live. Very importantly, you will be given advice on how to stay on the right side of the law, and how to avoid getting seriously ill.

Monica Hall creatively awakens this bygone era, filling the pages with all aspects of daily life within the period, calling upon diaries, illustrations, letters, poetry, prose, 18th century laws and archives.

My Review:
A Visitor's Guide to Georgian England describes what life was like in England from 1714 to 1830. It's a brief look at various aspects of life, so we might get details about the routine of getting dressed but more of a survey of the sports played at the time. Most of the information was about the middle and upper class, but it does mention the poorer class.

The author started by providing an overview of the time period and of the attitudes that people generally held. She then looked at clothing and makeup (what they wore, how you put it on, and the makeup they made and used); what location you might choose to live in and what type of job you might take; the diseases and such you might encounter and the treatments that could be offered; fitness and sports you might engage in (with descriptions of how they were different from modern versions). She also looked at the rise of etiquette; unusual (to us) laws, how to bring someone to trial, and possible punishments; what theatre, opera, circus, and pantomime performances were like; how the lottery worked and all the ways people gambled (cards, dice, horses, etc.); what topics children were taught, and some notables from the Enlightenment.

The writing style was lightly humorous and very readable. The book focused more on what was different, so don't expect a complete, detailed look at any subject. However, it was a fun overview of Georgian England with some interesting details thrown in. I'd recommend this book to those interested in how the Georgian's were different (and yet similar) to us.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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