Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be apart of the blog tour for the wonderful; The Domestic Revolution by Ruth Goodman. I am super excited to share this book and my review with you all, even though I am a day late.
Firstly, I want to say thank you to Kelly and Meggy at Love Books Tours for the invite to this tour.
About the Book
The Domestic Revolution by Ruth Goodman
Publisher: Micheal O’Mara
Genre: Non-fiction, History
A large black cast iron range glowing hot, the kettle steaming on top, provider of everything from bath water and clean socks to morning tea: it’s a nostalgic icon of a Victorian way of life. But it is far more than that. In this book, social historian and TV presenter Ruth Goodman tells the story of how the development of the coal-fired domestic range fundamentally changed not just our domestic comforts, but our world.
The revolution began as far back as the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, when London began the switch from wood to coal as its domestic fuel – a full 200 years before any other city. It would be this domestic demand for more coal that would lead to the expansion of mining, engineering, construction and industry: the Domestic Revolution kick-started, pushed and fuelled the Industrial Revolution.
There were other radical shifts. Coal cooking was to change not just how we cooked but what we cooked (causing major swings in diet), how we washed (first our laundry and then our bodies) and how we decorated (spurring the wallpaper industry). It also defined the nature of women’s and men’s working lives, pushing women more firmly into the domestic sphere. It transformed our landscape and environment (by the time of Elizabeth’s death in 1603, London’s air was as polluted as that of modern Beijing). Even tea drinking can be brought back to coal in the home, with all its ramifications for the shape of the empire and modern world economics.
Taken together, these shifts in our day-to-day practices started something big, something unprecedented, something that was exported across the globe and helped create the world we live in today.
Purchase here – Amazon Domestic Revolution
This book instantly caught my attention, not only is it written by the amazing Ruth Goodman, but it covers a subject which I am not only interested in, but I feel a huge connection to. I have lived with a coal fire in the home for as long as I can remember, coal runs through my very veins. The number of times I have toasted bread on long-handled forks in front of the fire, or boiled water when the cooker failed us, our coal fire kept us warm, fed us, kept us in hot water and brought the family together.
I may be one of the very few in the world to say this, but I miss my coal fire, I miss the burning smell of hot coals swirling through my home, I miss going out in all weather to lug back in a bucket of filthy coal – I even miss my cheeky coalmen and if I had the chance to have another I would in a heartbeat.
Hmm, I went a wee bit off track there…
I am passionate about sharing the stories of those who not only risked their lives by going deep into the earth to retrieve the previous black gold but passionate about the history of those ordinary men and women (and children) who relied on coal. But, also I am interested in the history of using coal within the homes and the history behind how that came to be, this book was like the holy grail to me, I needed to read it, and I am pleased to say Domestic Revolution didn’t disappoint.
Domestic Revolution is a fascinating fully engaging read, written by an author who not just knows her history, but really loves it. Ruth Goodman is an incredibly skilful writer, the way she lays out the history and facts it’s like she is actually telling you face to face, if you have watched her amazing TV history docu-drama’s where she lives in a specific era for a year then you know how knowledgeable and what a fabulous educator and narrator she is.
This book not only talks about the ways coal was used in homes but of its origins to we travel back to the 16th century as Goodman walks us through the first stages of how and why people began using coal and turning away from wood to heat their homes, how and what they fed their families and the link with the soap and its usage in the country is enlightening, it makes perfect sense that the more coal we use the more soap is needed but it’s not the first thing you think of when your think of solid fuel is it?
What I particularly love about this, and it is another reason I was so keen to read it is that it really focuses on the ordinary person’s lives, we see how coal changed the life of ordinary hard-working people and how the occurrence of coal to fuel their homes that it was far cheaper to get their hands on the good wood.
As Goodman says throughout the books and what she continually hints at as you read, the ordinary domestic history of those who came before us and their stories, how they lived and survived are important, knowing the unnamed persons of history and their tales is important. As someone who is passionate about learning more about my own ancestry and how my ordinary, coal mining ancestors lived this book really speaks to me.
Domestic Revolution is a must-read for any who has a passion for their own history, it’s fully engaging and very easy to read and one I would recommend everyone to read.
About the Author
For the first time, shows how the Industrial Revolution truly began in the kitchen – a revolution run by women|Told with Ruth’s inimitable wit, passion and commitment to revealing the nitty-gritty of life across three centuries of extraordinary change, from the Elizabethan to the Victorian age|A TV regular, Ruth has appeared on some of BBC 2’s most successful shows, including, Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm, Wartime Farm, Tudor Monastery Farm, Inside the Food Factory and most recently Full Steam Ahead, as well as being a regular expert presenter on The One Show|The critically acclaimed author of How to Be a Victorian, How to be a Tudor and How to Behave Badly in Renaissance Britain