Afternoon everyone. I hope you’re all good and enjoying the first signs of Spring! Today I’m on the blog tour for The Domestic Revolution by Ruth Goodman.
about the domestic revolution
A large black cast iron range glowing hot, the kettle steaming on top, provider of everything from bath water and clean socks to morning tea: it’s a nostalgic icon of a Victorian way of life. But it is far more than that. In this book, social historian and TV presenter Ruth Goodman tells the story of how the development of the coal-fired domestic range fundamentally changed not just our domestic comforts, but our world.
The revolution began as far back as the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, when London began the switch from wood to coal as its domestic fuel – a full 200 years before any other city. It would be this domestic demand for more coal that would lead to the expansion of mining, engineering, construction and industry: the Domestic Revolution kick-started, pushed and fuelled the Industrial Revolution.
There were other radical shifts. Coal cooking was to change not just how we cooked but what we cooked (causing major swings in diet), how we washed (first our laundry and then our bodies) and how we decorated (spurring the wallpaper industry). It also defined the nature of women’s and men’s working lives, pushing women more firmly into the domestic sphere. It transformed our landscape and environment (by the time of Elizabeth’s death in 1603, London’s air was as polluted as that of modern Beijing). Even tea drinking can be brought back to coal in the home, with all its ramifications for the shape of the empire and modern world economics.
Taken together, these shifts in our day-to-day practices started something big, something unprecedented, something that was exported across the globe and helped create the world we live in today.
Publisher: Michael O’Mara (16 April 2020)
Formats: Hardback, Paperback & eBook
This is an interesting and in-depth book about the domestic revolution. The Domestics Revolution Introduces us to what fuel sources were used before coal; how they were made, how well they burned and what they were used for and taking us right through to coal and how it spread through the country. As well as covering topics such a the tools used, the changes to cooking and foods and cleaning.
If you’re a history fan and particularly interested in the industrial revolution then you will enjoy this. I found it a bit of a struggle in places but that’s purely because the industrial revolution, although fascinating in places, isn’t one of my favourite subjects. If you want to learn in-depth about how things changed in a setting that is rarely covered, the home, then you will thoroughly enjoy this.
The author has done so much research and tried the techniques that she discusses, making it ‘living history’. It was really interesting to get her perspectives on the things that work and the challenges people had before 1750, and after the spread of the use of coal.
Overall a book that will get you thinking about how times have changed; and will educate you on the many ways in which keeping home as altered.
about the author
For the first time, shows how the Industrial Revolution truly began in the kitchen – a revolution run by women|Told with Ruth’s inimitable wit, passion and commitment to revealing the nitty-gritty of life across three centuries of extraordinary change, from the Elizabethan to the Victorian age|A TV regular, Ruth has appeared on some of BBC 2’s most successful shows, including, Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm, Wartime Farm, Tudor Monastery Farm, Inside the Food Factory and most recently Full Steam Ahead, as well as being a regular expert presenter on The One Show|The critically acclaimed author of How to Be a Victorian, How to be a Tudor and How to Behave Badly in Renaissance Britain.
follow the tour
Thank you to Love Books Tours for inviting me to take part, and to Ruth Goodman and Omara Books for gifting me with a copy of the book. All views and opinions are my own.
Have a wonderful day my lovelies and I’ll be back soon.
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