REVIEW: A Visitor’s Guide to Victorian England (2021)

A Book by Michelle Higgs

NOTE: I received a free preliminary, and likely unedited copy of this book from Netgalley for the purposes of providing an honest, unbiased review of the material. Thank you to all involved.

If only time machines were a real thing, I’d be packed and all set for a trip to Victorian England with this well-written and humorous travel guide at my side! Written in a manner identical to normal travel guides for contemporary settings, this has all of the information one would need to travel to Victorian England during this time, including prices, lodgings, rules for gratuity, and shopping guides with the extra flavor of what to expect during that time period that we only read about in things like Horrible Histories books. Want to know what the preferred insect powder is to combat bed bugs? Want to know how many handkerchiefs one would need to dodge the awful smells? How about how to spot the numerous types of pick-pockets and other thieves? It’s all here!

“HAVE YOU EVER IMAGINED what it would be like to visit the Victorian era? How would you find the best seat on an omnibus, deal with unwanted insects and vermin, get in and out of a vehicle while wearing a crinoline, and avoid catching an infectious disease? Michelle Higgs answers all these questions, and reveals the minutiae of Victorian daily life. Drawing on a wide range of sources, this book blends accurate historical details with compelling stories to bring the period to life. A must-read for seasoned social history fans, costume drama lovers, history students and anyone with an interest in the nineteenth century.”

You are apparently going to need a ton of this stuff!

This is yet another solid offering from Pen and Sword, a UK-based publisher which rarely lets me down. If you want solid history books for great value and a moderate, but not exhaustive size – they are a good choice. I think about half of my reviews since I really started blogging on here are by them, and that says a lot as to how much I like them.

I enjoyed this a lot because it takes material most already likely know about or can surmise, and dresses it up in a manner you don’t see a lot with these types of books. If you are worried about yet another dry history book, full of dates and boring asides, this isn’t it. Using things like excepts from first-hand sources of people that traveled to these places in that time period, Michelle Higgs weaves this information with top notch-wit to create something special. You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, I bet you’ll start feeling itchy after reading certain parts of the book – but above all, you will gain an appreciation for many modern conveniences.

If you would like a copy of this for yourself, please click HERE for their main website or HERE for Amazon.


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