My rating: 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
What a truly brilliant book!!! Ruth Goodman adds another layer to the research she does through actually implementing the methods and practices which she discusses in her work. This is one of the many things that make her work even more interesting, as she is able to add her own experience of practicing these historical methods. This action seems to add credibility to the facts and even makes it clearer to visualise how they would have been done. Goodman writes in a way which draws the reader in, she has an easy style which captivates the reader, through her discussion and analysis of each aspect. As someone who is interested in the social history of England, yet by no means claiming to be an expert, I felt I was in safe hands reading this book. The engaging way she writes does not detract from the content of what she writes. I found her examination of different fuels used in England before coal became universal to be highly interesting. From learning about the history of peat which I knew barely anything of to coppicing and pollarding the first few chapters alone give you are wealth of information to ponder for an extensive period of time. This is all before we get to coal and how it burned, or even how it became to fuel of choice. The depth of the research, the quality and quantity of information is truly great. It only goes to show that Goodman, of course, an expert in the field is able to create incredible work such as this whilst making it accessible, and fun to read without sacrificing the quality of her work. She shows that the introduction of coal had a huge impact on society as a whole, as well as individuals day to day life. In the latter part of the book she explores the impact of the change to coal on cooking and cleaning, which shed a new light and perspective on the daily lives of ordinary people – a topic which is discussed and examined less often. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would heartily recommend to anyone with an interest in British or social history.
A huge thanks to @omarabooks @lovebooksgroup for allowing me to be part of this book tour and for this #gifted copy.