For every frustrated reader of the great nineteenth-century English novels of Austen, Trollope, Dickens, or the Brontes who has ever wondered whether a duke outranked an earl, when to yell "Tally Ho " at a fox hunt, or how one landed in "debtor's prison," here is a "delightful reader's companion that lights up the literary dark" "(The New York Times)."
This fascinating, lively guide clarifies the sometimes bizarre maze of rules, regulations, and customs that governed everyday life in Victorian England. Author Daniel Pool provides countless intriguing details (did you know that the "plums" in Christmas plum pudding were actually raisins?) on the Church of England, sex, Parliament, dinner parties, country house visiting, and a host of other aspects of nineteenth-century English life -- both "upstairs" and "downstairs."
An illuminating glossary gives at a glance the meaning and significance of terms ranging from "ague" to "wainscoting," the specifics of the currency system, and a lively host of other details and curiosities of the day.
Patrick T. Reardon Chicago Tribune This entertaining social history is just the ticket for Americans who like to read Dickens and other 19th-century novelists...or for anyone who likes to read histories and biographies of that era. Glenn Giffin The Denver Post It's great fun reading this, and Pool has provided a valuable service. Geoffrey Stokes The Boston Globe Indispensable...Pool has gathered together...the facts of daily life in 19th-century England, and no one who likes an occasional dip into the period's history or literature can afford to be without it. M.G. Lord New York Newsday A delightful book...indispensable to lovers of Victorian literature.