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November 06 , 2008

At Home: A short history of private life

A short history of private life


What does history really consists of? Centuries of people quietly going about their daily business - sleeping, eating, having sex, endeavouring to get comfortable.

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The highs and lows of being a reporter in some of the strangest, most dysfunctional places on Earth. Award-winning foreign correspondent Eric Campbell has been stoned by fundamentalists, captured by US Special Forces, arrested in Serbia and threatened with expulsion from China. He's negotiated dating rituals in Moscow, shared a house with a…

And where did all these normal activities take place?

At home.

This was the thought that inspired Bill Bryson to start a journey around the rooms of his own house, an 1851 Norfolk rectory, to consider how the ordinary things in life came to be. And what he discovered are surprising connections to anything from the Crystal Palace to the Eiffel Tower, from scurvy to body-snatching,from bedbugs to the Industrial Revolution, and just about everything else that has ever happened, resulting in one of the most entertaining and illuminating books ever written about the history of the way we live.

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