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How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain’s Most Ineligible Bachelor and his Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate

Attention British History Fans!

Here are two new books of British history for you to enjoy!

How To Create the Perfect Wife by Wendy Moore

Thomas Day, 18th century British radical, had trouble finding a suitable wife. His solution? He illegally adopted two orphaned teenage girls to train to be his perfect wife. He planned to see which girl responded to the training best and marry her. This book is the story of Day's "experiment." Ironically, Day was an early antislavery activist. Day's story lives on in literature - most notably George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. This is a fascinating look at British life and the dark side of the Enlightenment. This is a history book that reads like a novel and is filled with famous figures (including Benjamin Franklin and South Carolina's own Henry Laurens). How To Create the Perfect Wife is at times funny, others disturbing, but always compelling. I simply could not put this book down. How To Create the Perfect Wife is a great read for fans of British history, social history and women's history.

Shakespeare's Pub by Pete Brown

Shakespeare's Pub tells London's story from the vantage point of its oldest pub - the George Inn. Pete Brown has been dubbed "the beer drinker's Bill Bryson," and you will quickly see why. Like Bryson, Brown mixes literature, history and pop culture into a lively and witty story. This is a book for everyone who enjoys a cold one now and then. So - grab a pint, pull up a barstool and read Shakespeare's Pub!


Julie E. Says: The story of Thomas Day's attempt to train the perfect wife.
Amazon Says: Thomas Day, an 18th-century British writer and radical, knew exactly the sort of woman he wanted to marry. Pure and virginal like an English country maid yet tough and hardy l more...
Amazon Says: Thomas Day, an 18th-century British writer and radical, knew exactly the sort of woman he wanted to marry. Pure and virginal like an English country maid yet tough and hardy like a Spartan heroine, she would live with him in an isolated cottage, completely subservient to his whims. But after being rejected by a number of spirited young women, Day concluded that the perfect partner he envisioned simply did not exist in frivolous, fashion-obsessed Georgian society. Rather than conceding defeat and giving up his search for the woman of his dreams, however, Day set out to create her. So begins the extraordinary true story at the heart of How to Create the Perfect Wife, prize-winning historian Wendy Moore’s captivating tale of one man’s mission to groom his ideal mate. A few days after he turned twenty-one and inherited a large fortune, Day adopted two young orphans from the Foundling Hospital and, guided by the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the principles of the Enlightenment, attempted to teach them to be model wives. After six months he discarded one girl, calling her “invincibly stupid,” and focused his efforts on his remaining charge. He subjected her to a number of cruel trials—including dropping hot wax on her arms and firing pistols at her skirts—to test her resolve but the young woman, perhaps unsurprisingly, eventually rebelled against her domestic slavery. Day had hoped eventually to marry her, but his peculiar experiment inevitably backfired—though not before he had taken his theories about marriage, education, and femininity to shocking extremes. Stranger than fiction, blending tragedy and farce, How to Create the Perfect Wife is an engrossing tale of the radicalism—and deep contradictions—at the heart of the Enlightenment. less...
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Julie E. Says: A barstool view of London's history!
Amazon Says: A history of Britain told through the story of one very special pub, from "The Beer Drinker's Bill Bryson" (Times Literary Supplement) Welcome to the George Inn near London B more...
Amazon Says: A history of Britain told through the story of one very special pub, from "The Beer Drinker's Bill Bryson" (Times Literary Supplement) Welcome to the George Inn near London Bridge; a cosy, wood-paneled, galleried coaching house a few minutes' walk from the Thames. Grab yourself a pint, listen to the chatter of the locals and lean back, resting your head against the wall. And then consider this: who else has rested their head against that wall, over the last six hundred years? Chaucer and his fellow pilgrims almost certainly drank in the George on their way out of London to Canterbury. It's fair to say that Shakespeare popped in from the nearby Globe for a pint, and we know that Dickens certainly did. Mail carriers changed their horses here, before heading to all four corners of Britain—while sailors drank here before visiting all four corners of the world. The pub, as Pete Brown points out, is the 'primordial cell of British life' and in the George he has found the perfect example. All life is here, from murderers, highwaymen, and ladies of the night to gossiping peddlers and hard-working clerks. So sit back with Shakespeare's Pub and watch as buildings rise and fall over the centuries, and 'the beer drinker's Bill Bryson' (UK's Times Literary Supplement) takes us on an entertaining tour through six centuries of history, through the stories of everyone that ever drank in one pub. less...
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Shakespeare by Bill Bryson
Julie E. Says: Bill Bryson takes on the Bard.
Amazon Says: William Shakespeare, the most celebrated poet in the English language, left behind nearly a million words of text, but his biography has long been a thicket of wild suppositio more...
Amazon Says: William Shakespeare, the most celebrated poet in the English language, left behind nearly a million words of text, but his biography has long been a thicket of wild supposition arranged around scant facts. With a steady hand and his trademark wit, Bill Bryson sorts through this colorful muddle to reveal the man himself.Bryson documents the efforts of earlier scholars, from today's most respected academics to eccentrics like Delia Bacon, an American who developed a firm but unsubstantiated conviction that her namesake, Francis Bacon, was the true author of Shakespeare's plays. Emulating the style of his famous travelogues, Bryson records episodes in his research, including a visit to a bunkerlike room in Washington, D.C., where the world's largest collection of First Folios is housed. Bryson celebrates Shakespeare as a writer of unimaginable talent and enormous inventiveness, a coiner of phrases ("vanish into thin air," "foregone conclusion," "one fell swoop") that even today have common currency. His Shakespeare is like no one else's—the beneficiary of Bryson's genial nature, his engaging skepticism, and a gift for storytelling unrivaled in our time. less...
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Julie E. Says: History of each room of the house.
Amazon Says: From one of the most beloved authors of our  time—a fascinating excursion into the history behind the place we call home. “Houses aren’t refuges from history. They are more...
Amazon Says: From one of the most beloved authors of our  time—a fascinating excursion into the history behind the place we call home. “Houses aren’t refuges from history. They are where history ends up.”  Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.” The bathroom provides the occasion for a history of hygiene; the bedroom, sex, death, and sleep; the kitchen, nutrition and the spice trade; and so on, as Bryson shows how each has fig­ured in the evolution of private life. Whatever happens in the world, he demonstrates, ends up in our house, in the paint and the pipes and the pillows and every item of furniture. Bill Bryson has one of the liveliest, most inquisitive minds on the planet, and he is a master at turning the seemingly isolated or mundane fact into an occasion for the most diverting exposi­tion imaginable. His wit and sheer prose fluency make At Home one of the most entertaining books ever written about private life. less...
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