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A Million Years in a Day : A Curious History of Everyday Life from the Stone Age to the Phone Age
by Greg Jenner


Overview -

Who invented beds? When did we start cleaning our teeth? How old are wine and beer? Which came first: the toilet seat or toilet paper? What was the first clock?

Every day, from the moment our alarm clock wakes us in the morning until our head hits our pillow at night, we all take part in rituals that are millennia old.  Read more...


 
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More About A Million Years in a Day by Greg Jenner
 
 
 
Overview

Who invented beds? When did we start cleaning our teeth? How old are wine and beer? Which came first: the toilet seat or toilet paper? What was the first clock?

Every day, from the moment our alarm clock wakes us in the morning until our head hits our pillow at night, we all take part in rituals that are millennia old. Structured around one ordinary day, A Million Years in a Day reveals the astonishing origins and development of the daily practices we take for granted. In this gloriously entertaining romp through human history, Greg Jenner explores the gradual and often unexpected evolution of our daily routines.

This is not a story of wars, politics, or great events. Instead, Jenner has scoured Roman rubbish bins, Egyptian tombs, and Victorian sewers to bring us the most intriguing, surprising, and sometimes downright silly historical nuggets from our past.

Drawn from across the world, spanning a million years of humanity, this book is a smorgasbord of historical delights. It is a history of all those things you always wondered about and many you have never considered. It is the story of your life, one million years in the making.

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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781250089441
  • ISBN-10: 1250089441
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
  • Publish Date: June 2016
  • Page Count: 368


Related Categories

Books > History > World - General
Books > History > Social History

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-04-25
  • Reviewer: Staff

Jenner, a cowriter of the BBC’s Horrible Histories series, muses about the historical antecedents of activities on a typical British Saturday in this entertaining work. He begins his day at 9:30 a.m. and proceeds to consider humans’ historical and varied methods of dividing time, setting the pattern for succeeding chapters. Over the course of the day, Jenner reflects on the keeping of pets, human communication technologies, clothing, alcohol, dining, and even tooth-brushing. His extensive coverage of bodily functions in the chapter on “Answering the Call of Nature” may be a bit much for some readers, but he shows that humans have done some fairly gross things in our past (see the section on bathing, for instance). The fact-checking isn’t always flawless—for instance, Jenner credits Charles Wesley with the first utterance of “Cleanliness is next to godliness” rather than his brother John—but this is a fun book, not a scholarly tome. His sources are also overwhelmingly Eurocentric, though he does include some references to Asia and the Americas. Jenner’s book is an amusing examination of what we humans do with ourselves all day. Agent: Donald Winchester, Watson Little (U.K.). (June)

 
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