Daily Life in 18th-Century England, 2nd ed. By Kirstin Olsen. The Greenwood Press Daily Life Through History Series. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2017. 458 p. Acid free $61 (ISBN: 978-1-4408-5503-0). E-book available (ISBN: 978-1-4408-5504-7), call for pricing.

Kirstin Olsen’s book provided a broad overview of England in the eighteenth century. It offers insight into what is considered the “every day” for the populace of eighteenth-century England. Olsen focuses on everything from gender and marriage to science to clothing and fashion. Each chapter is a written account of how the subject was a part of the daily life of a person. Accounts include things such as how they would have used certain clothing items, what type of books many were reading, and how science interacted with their lives. Each chapter’s information is supported by selected primary sources and accompanied by a further reading section. Any student interested in gender, race, and class issues in eighteenth-century England will find this a useful resource. It provides easy access to period-relevant primary sources for students studying this area of English history. The sources are reprinted in full in each corresponding chapter and range from official letters, to theater bills, and personal notes.

This new edition makes an excellent companion to the first edition. It covers topics and issues not in the first edition and offers the same level of depth for each of its subjects as the first edition provided. As with the previous edition, the author’s writing style makes the subject matter seem more real and lively. The writing style helps in comprehending the book as well. While the subject matter is not overly complicated, it can become dry because of the period, but Olsen keeps the book from feeling dull.

This work is intended as an undergraduate reference material. It is not a book that one will sit down and read. The information inside of it is designed for more reference purposes and would work well as a resource for an undergraduate term paper in a lower level history course. However, I could see this working usefully in a high school eleventh- or twelfth-grade history class.—Michael Hawkins, Head of Map Library, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ALA Privacy Policy

© 2018 RUSA