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The Domestic Revolution
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The Domestic Revolution

How the Introduction of Coal into Victorian Homes Changed Everything

Description

"The queen of living history" (Lucy Worsley) returns with an immersive account of how English women sparked a worldwide revolution—from their own kitchens. No single invention epitomizes the Victorian era more than the black cast-iron range. Aware that the twenty-first-century has reduced it to a quaint relic, Ruth Goodman was determined to prove that the hot coal stove provided so much more than morning tea: it might even have kick-started the Industrial Revolution. Wielding the wit and passion seen in How to Be a Victorian, Goodman traces the tectonic shift from wood to coal in the mid-sixteenth century—from sooty trials and errors during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I to the totally smog-clouded reign of Queen Victoria. A pattern of innovation emerges as the women stoking these fires also stoked new global industries: from better soap to clean smudges to new ingredients for cooking. Laced with uproarious anecdotes of Goodman's own experience managing a coal-fired household, this fascinating book shines a hot light on the power of domestic necessity.


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