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Ruth Goodman is the author of multiple books on English domestic history, among them How to Be a Victorian. An historian of British social customs, she has presented a number of BBC television series, including Tudor Monastery Farm. She lives in the United Kingdom.

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Associated Works

Edwardian Farm [2010 TV series] (2013) — Presentor — 5 eksemplarer
Victorian Farm [2009 TV series] — Presenter — 2 eksemplarer
Wartime Farm [2012 TV series] — Presenter — 1 eksemplar

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From Amazon: "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 to the death of Elizabeth I. A celebrated master of British social and domestic history, Ruth Goodman draws on her own adventures living in re-created Tudor conditions to serve as our intrepid guide to sixteenth-century living. Proceeding from daybreak to bedtime, this “immersive, engrossing” (Slate) work pays tribute to the lives of those who labored through the era. From using soot from candle wax as toothpaste to malting grain for homemade ale, from the gruesome sport of bear-baiting to cuckolding and cross-dressing―the madcap habits and revealing intimacies of life in the time of Shakespeare are vividly rendered for the insatiably curious."

This was a fun read---very informative! I read Goodman's, How to Be a Victorian a couple years ago and love her as a historian. This is the first book on English history I've read since getting my DNA results back and finding I'm almost 80% English. Goodman is always super thorough in her research and explanations so there was a lot of info to take in. Here are just some of the best bits:

**Rushes placed on the floor as bedding or "carpeting" may have been as hygienic as modern carpets---maybe more so.

**While I was aware that "the clothes made the man" in these times, I didn't realize the legalities involved---that it was actually illegal to dress outside one's class!

**People say that children were married so young "back in the day". I thought it was interesting to note that the average age at a first marriage was 24 for a woman and 26 for a man.

**Goodman shared an interesting take on bear baiting and how they believed it to be a good use of God's resources. The rush of blood before death was thought to tenderize the flesh of the animal; thus, allowing older animals' meat to be more nutritious.

**The most fascinating part for me was learning about their beliefs about the four body humours and how these related to digestion, order of food ingested, and who should eat what depending on something as trivial as one's hair color!
… (mere)
classyhomemaker | 14 andre anmeldelser | Dec 11, 2023 |
This was an excellent start to my 2015 reading! I love the idea of a "waking 'til sleeping" look at Victorian life in England. There were so many interesting tidbits and insights into how our world just wouldn't be what it is if it weren't for the enterprising Victorians. The book is lively and very readable and I found myself only skipping over a few pages about men's sports and later, a small bit about abortion.

I love how the author has so much personal experience with living the Victorian life. It sounds like she's had some very interesting employment. Some of my favorite parts include:

Interesting findings on her washing experiment (pages 15-16)

The way plaid shirts came to symbolize the manual laborer

That tiny waists were fashionable for men of the time and that they, like women, wore corsets to achieve the look!

Her hair care regimen on page 143---I might try it!

I also found the many cases of history repeating itself to be strangely satisfying. For instance, the English Victorians also struggled with schools focusing on standardized curriculum, rather than the individual needs of the student. Also, with all the talk about the rise of obesity---especially with the way the British like to get on us Americans about it---I found it rather ironic that only 2 out of 9 volunteers were considered physically fit enough to fight in the Boer War.

This will go into my permanent collection and I hope to find others by her soon!

… (mere)
classyhomemaker | 35 andre anmeldelser | Dec 11, 2023 |
This book has been the dark horse of my annual reading challenge. I did not expect to love it as much as I did. After all, you don't expect a history book to be poignant and funny, informative and relaxing; yet, this book managed to be all of that.

Ruth Goodman has quite the personality, and she's a certified badass in the series Victorian Farm where she lives on a Victorian Farm FOR A YEAR. She cuts apart a pig like it's nothing. She doesn't even blink. She's intense and brilliant, as well as humble and entertaining. A rare combination, but now you know that her book is going to be just as special as she is.

The book breaks apart the day of a typical Victorian, and what's unique is that it doesn't just focus on one social class but everybody: the poorest of the poor, the working class, the middle class, and the upper class all receive their due attention in this book, so the book feels well-rounded and inclusive.

Goodman also seemingly transitions from the day-to-day experiences to the overall themes of Victorian living. While she talks about children's games and their toys, she also talks about how p.e. classes originated from Britain's need to build up the strength and health of its citizens should there ever be a draft.

This book is full of fascinating tidbits, and we still see their influences today. Completely readable, this is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of daily life or anything Victorian. No library is complete without it.
… (mere)
readerbug2 | 35 andre anmeldelser | Nov 16, 2023 |
An interesting an easy read on the Victorians. I like how the book was structured and look forward to reading her book on the Tudors soon, which I believe is written in a similar style
LisaBergin | 35 andre anmeldelser | Apr 12, 2023 |



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