Saturday, 21 May 2011

Want to write Victorians

Sometimes I really wish there was a book that would cover every aspect of life -  what to wear, when to wear it, manners, food, deportment, grooming. For most periods of history there's no chance but for the Victorians there's Enquire Within Upon Everything, the book that is credited with having given Tim Berners-Lee the idea of the World Wide Web. Old House Books has reprinted the 1890 edition of the book but it is possible to find copies from other years.
There is also a companion volume, The Lady's Dressing Room by Baroness Staffe, translated by Lady Colin Campbell in 1892. If you need a recipe to make the hands white, to sweeten the breath or to make dark hair fair it will be in there, though I don't recommend using some of the concoctions.

I wish books like that existed for some of the periods that interest me.

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