Part memoir, part micro-history, this is an exploration of the present through the lens of the past--now in paperback!
We all know that the best way to study a foreign language is to go to a country where it's spoken, but can the same immersion method be applied to history? How do interactions with antique objects influence perceptions of the modern world?
From Victorian beauty regimes to nineteenth-century bicycles, custard recipes to taxidermy experiments, oil lamps to an ice box, Sarah and Gabriel Chrisman decided to explore nineteenth-century culture and technologies from the inside out. Even the deepest aspects of their lives became affected, and the more immersed they became in the late Victorian era, the more aware they grew of its legacies permeating the twenty-first century.
Most of us have dreamed of time travel, but what if that dream could come true? Certain universal constants remain steady for all people regardless of time or place. No matter where, when, or who we are, humans share similar passions and fears, joys and triumphs.
In her first book, Victorian Secrets, Chrisman recalled the first year she spent wearing a Victorian corset 24/7. In This Victorian Life, Chrisman picks up where Secrets left off and documents her complete shift into living as though she were in the nineteenth century.
“A journey to the past through the eyes of the future, both educating and enthralling with Chrisman’s oftentimes humorous adventures with the Victorian Era.” —Grace Gold, beauty and wellness expert and journalist
“The Chrismans give our shared history a shocking tangibility and help us see that the past is much more present, everyday, than we might realize.” —Britt Sondreal, host of BreakThru Radio’s Sew & Tell
"Sarah Chrisman's foray into a lifeway of Victorian foods, furnishings, an technologies deftly avoids romanticizing this 1880–90s era while presenting pleasures and challenges. . . . These are fascinating reflections on how each Victorian object shapes understandings of everyday life." —Jeanne E Arnold, lead author, Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century