Sunday, January 18, 2009

Aid requested...

I am currently reading a book I got for Christmas called " Night in the Middle Ages" and it is one I would recommend to you all. It is fascinating and full of day to day details (for all levels of Society ) which enthrall me ...
It got me thinking about the vast ,collective knowledge that makes up EvE. Could you suggest to me books which would give me detailed information on 18th century life- food,illumination,manners etc etc. I am particularly interested in those of Northern Europe but cannot read other languages apart from a smattering of French. All ideas, the obscurer and detailed the better!
many thanks
Alan

6 comments:

Herzog Ignaz said...

A useful starter would be "What Jane Austen Ate and What Charles Dickens Knew."

http://www.amazon.com/Austen-Charles-Dickens-Whist-Nineteenth-Century/dp/0671882368

It does focus on the 19th rather than 18th century, but it does give a sense of how life changed during the period, thereby giving good insight into the 18th century as well.

Herzog Ignaz said...

Some of the related titles Amazon pulls up with the above look interesting as well, although I haven't read them:

http://www.amazon.com/English-Society-Eighteenth-Century-Penguin/dp/0140138196/ref=pd_sim_b_1

Fitz-Badger said...

One I started reading a while back, but haven't quite finished yet:
The Pursuit of Glory by Tim Blanning, ISBN 978-0-670-06320-8
Nearly 700 pages, goes into various aspects of society, at a fairly general level, although it does include interesting and useful tidbits, and also compares the differences and similarities between various parts of Europe and talks a bit about changes over the time span covered (1648-1815).
For example, there is a chapter called Communication, one part covers road transportation, the conditions of roads, travel by coach, increase in travel speeds over the course of a couple of generations or so (the older generation grousing a bit about the fast pace of travel compared to a generation ago - lol), conditions in various places, etc.

littlejohn said...

I actually found the sea novels of Patrick O'Brien (the Jack Aubrey stories), to be REALLY wonderful dips into the life of the enlightenment. Though they are set in the period of the early Napoleonic Wars they have an incredibly accurate feel for what life was really like in the 1700s. O'Brien was the master of the well researched historical novel. I have read the entire 21 novel series except for the last one...and I decided that I just could not see it end...so I've told my wife that I'll read the last one "when I KNOW I'm on my way out"...hopefully I'll be lucky enough to know when that is...because I'll be pretty mad if I don't get to read the last one... ;)...they are that good!

--Dave

Fitz-Badger said...

Speaking of the Patrick O'Brian novels (which I have not read - yet) I have another book called Harbors and High Seas - An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O'Brian. This has quite a few black and white maps, some from the period and many others drawn especially for the book and is almost entirely about the geography and how the books fit into to it. But it's a very cool little book if you're into maps and/or the novels.

tradgardmastare said...

I love the O'Brien books and have themm all upon my shelves- an excellent place to start! If you do one thing this year Fitz do read one of the novels they are amazing if addictive...