Today is the official release date for my new book!
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, and technologies deftly avoids romanticizing this 1880s-90s era while presenting its pleasures and challenges. The Victorian was in many ways a companion era to the late twentieth century. It was not a time of “simplicity.” It was a time of emergence of many economic institutions and technologies we think of as distinctly modern: department stores, electric cars, telecommunications, competitive displays at home of wealth and leisure--the birthing of the consumerism that in 1899 Thorstein Veblen first called conspicuous consumption. Yet Victorians also celebrated beauty, crafts, artisanal attention to quality foods, and clever entrepreneurial endeavors that led to diversity in every new available thing. Exploring the properties of clothing, watches, bicycles, ink-- just as the households of that time, she revels in every detail. 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.