If Walls Could Talk

  • by Lucy Worsley
  • Narrated by Anne Flosnik
  • 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Why did the flushing toilet take two centuries to catch on? Why did medieval people sleep sitting up? When were the two "dirty centuries?" Why did gas lighting cause Victorian ladies to faint? Why, for centuries, did rich people fear fruit?In her brilliantly and creatively researched book, Lucy Worsley takes us through the bedroom, bathroom, living room, and kitchen. She covers the history of each room and explores what people actually did in bed, in the bath, at the table, and at the stove-from sauce stirring to breastfeeding, teeth cleaning to masturbation, getting dressed to getting married-providing a compelling account of how the four rooms of the home have evolved from medieval times to today.


What the Critics Say

"Who could not be enthralled by the history of toilet paper? Anyone who lives in a home with a kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedroom will delight in reading this history of the development of home life." (Kirkus)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Too scatological for my taste

I was disappointed with this book. I expected quirky historical facts, maybe told with some offbeat humor, but what I got was a book that dwelt on the most basic bodily functions. Like some kind of British version of a high school fart joke. I wish I'd listened to other reviewers.
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- Margaret


Lucy Worsley???s book is meticulously researched and yet quite engaging and easy to follow. It might sound hard to believe, but the material is truly interesting and thought-provoking. I finished it in two days because I could not put it down. If you like slightly quirky facts to fuel your water-cooler chat, this book is for you.

On the downside, the narrator had a strange sort of hook in her voice that was distracting to me, and I wasn???t fond of her attempts at various accents. However, it wasn???t so distracting as to take away from the overall content. Although not really a downside, the other thing that I wish I???d known when I bought this book is that it is highly England-centric. There is very little information about the rest of Europe or the East.

All in all, this was a satisfying, fascinating and informative look at the way our lives and social structures have been shaped by our living spaces and vice-versa. I think it will appeal to history buffs, Anglophiles and eclectic fact-lovers alike. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
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- Kirsten

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-28-2012
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio