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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of How to Be a Victorian by Ruth Goodman, read by Patience Tomlinson.

How to be a Victorian - a time traveller's guide to Victorian Britain by the BBC's Ruth Goodman. 

We know what life was like for Victoria and Albert. But what was it like for a commoner like you or me? How did it feel to cook with coal and wash with tea leaves? Drink beer for breakfast and clean your teeth with cuttlefish? Dress in whalebone and feed opium to the baby? Surviving everyday life came down to the gritty details, the small necessities and tricks of living.

Drawing on Ruth's unique first-hand experience, gained from living on a Victorian farm for a year, this book will teach you everything you need to know about 19th-century living.

If you liked A Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England or If Walls Could Talk, you will love this book.

©2018 Ruth Goodman (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

What listeners say about How to Be a Victorian

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  • mat brown
  • 07-09-18

Ruth puts it in the back of the net AGAIN!

Ruth histories are about people without power without influence who are just trying to get by

Like most of us

It’s an eye opener to see how our great grand parents lived (in very old 😂)

She gets you laughing, crying (oh my lord somethings that the women had to do just to survive was so harrowing and the children!!) and she also lightens it all with humour

If you have any interest in REAL history download this now

The narration was also top drawer

Brilliant

7 people found this helpful

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  • Mr Christopher McGill
  • 25-04-20

If you only like fashion get this book.

Too much about fashion, I wanted to know how they lived their life’s. what it was like being a victorian, the food they ate. Struggles.
Instead I got hours and hours about their clothes and fashion. I listened to it for hours waiting for something before I just had to give up.

Good narrator though.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Michele Richards
  • 12-10-18

Loved it. Very interesting!

I've recently started a longer commute and this has really made it easier to bear! I found it very engaging and loved the references to real people.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jason Moore
  • 08-10-18

Absolutely fascinating

As a huge fan of Ruth Goodman I was thrilled to come across her book on audible, not getting alot of time for actual reading it was so good to be able to enjoy her work while carrying on with mine. She leaves no aspect of everyday life out of this truly brilliant insight into what it was like to be a victorian. Fantastic experience.

4 people found this helpful

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  • flowertoes
  • 16-06-19

endurance and fortitude.

Lovely Ruth,thank you for your research and,making such an interesting real story,in alot of instances Our people were no more than slaves,thank goodness that there ae people that look into our past hopefully.to keep a better future.

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  • blueberry
  • 31-01-21

way too much fashion

the narrator is lovely but the book is way too much fashion. in fact chapter after chapter is about it. waste of time and money.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rooty tooty
  • 30-06-20

My favourite way of understanding victorian life and mores.

So few books give us the details of every day people’s life including the difference between the north and south. She covers the subjects of eduction and nourishment so well
I’ve listened to it countless times and find new facts that strike a chord.

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  • Julia Källén
  • 07-05-19

Very real

Very interesting to listen to and it feels real, the author adds her own experiences and thoughts and reflections.

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  • Marilyn
  • 08-12-18

A lively and riveting read ,that’s not dry

In part two it does contain sexually explicit details,of which should’ve been stated.
There is in part one a repeating of two sentences,which should have been edited out.

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  • Simon Muller
  • 04-09-18

Victorian Obsessions

An insight into Victorian bodily functions and how to deal with them. Some good sociology though.

1 person found this helpful

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  • lmc91
  • 10-06-20

Fascinating glimpse into everyday Victorian life.

A fascinating look at the daily life of every day people in Victorian Britain. If you enjoy history delivered as if it’s a work of drama, you’ll enjoy it. The narrator has an easy to listen to voice and manages to deliver the story and dialogue without being flat or over doing it.
Recommend to anyone interested in Victorian history, but of the commoner classes, not royalty.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-06-19

amazing so many facts

I love Ruth Goodman and had watched her programs many 5imes so when I saw her book I had to get it. I wasn't dissapointed. so many facts and amazing information. I love the detail she goes into the day to day life.