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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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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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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.

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  • mat brown
  • 07-09-2018

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

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  • Michele Richards
  • 12-10-2018

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.

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  • Jason Moore
  • 08-10-2018

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.

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  • Rooty tooty
  • 30-06-2020

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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  • Mr Christopher McGill
  • 25-04-2020

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.

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  • flowertoes
  • 16-06-2019

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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  • Julia Källén
  • 07-05-2019

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
  • 08-12-2018

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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  • Kathcolours33
  • 27-08-2018

The perfect combination

A fantastic book written by Ruth Goodman and narrated by the brilliant Patience Tomlinson. It's the perfect combination! This book is a 'must' for fans of Victorian domestic history. Ruth gives an interesting and amusing insight into Victorian life and I loved it. Well done Ruth, please do the Edwardian era next!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-12-2020

interesting and educational

Great insights and easily told with a good writer and good narrator. the chapters are a little out of sync but that's no big deal once you realise!

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