Consuming Passions by Judith Flanders

Consuming Passions

A delightful and fascinating social history of Victorians at leisure, told through the letters, diaries, journals and novels of 19th-century men and women from the author of the bestselling 'The Victorian House'.Imagine a world where only one in five people owns a book, where just one in ten has a knife or a fork - a world where five people out of every six do not own a cup to hold a hot drink. That was what England was like in the early eighteen...

Details Consuming Passions

TitleConsuming Passions
Release DateJun 11th, 2019
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Historical, Victorian, Literature, 19th Century, Reference, Research

Reviews Consuming Passions

  • ·Karen·
    Something of an over-stuffed cushion, this is at once meticulously researched and weirdly engaging. It is packed, stuffed, teeming with facts. That amount of information is tough to manage, but this is well ordered and narrated with a nicely wry tone. However, its pulling power will be in direct proportion to the reader's interest in the subject at hand. Personally, I found the sections on shopping, reading (books and newspapers), holidays and to...
  • Emma Rose Ribbons
    How riveting. This is a dense book and it took me a while to finish it but I'm so happy I did, for it provides some really wonderfully detailed chapters on things I had read very little about up till now - hobbies in Victorian England. There's no book that has more than this one on the topic, and I've read a lot of books on the era by now. I wouldn't recommend it as a first book on the period, it's too restrictive for that and the writing doesn't...
  • Brenda Clough
    A lot of meat in this egg. People passionate about the period will love it, but if you're a more casual reader her VICTORIAN HOME is better.
  • Caroline
    This title of this is a little bit misleading, because it covers more than just the Victorian era, and less than the whole of Britain. There is very little information here about Scotland and almost nothing on Wales, and it covers the whole of the 18th century and up to the beginning of the 20th, which is obviously a much longer spread than simply the Victorian era.The book is broken down into chapters, each covering a difference aspect of leisur...
  • Tig
    I don't know, I ought to have loved this. I've adored her other two social history books, I'm an enthusiastic consumer and a lover of all detials about Victorian social history, but I found bits of it just a little too detailed to be really engaging. We were treated to many stats of how many people went to the races at Doncaster in March or what proportion of shops made their own shirts or which countries Wedgwood sold to. It just didnt quite gra...
  • Jenni
    I really enjoyed Flander's Inside the Victorian Home and was delighted when I saw this at the bookstore! I have been fascinated by nineteenth century consumer society since my first encounter with Ulysses' "Nausicaa" and have done quite a bit of reading on the subject, but I think Flanders' is the most comprehensive, interesting (love those footnotes!), and exhaustively researched study I have come across. Flanders, arguing that the consumer revo...
  • Velvetink
    The focus in Consuming Passions is on the growth of consumerism, with the author, Judith Flanders, often delving into the eighteenth-century background to demonstrate her thesis — the democratisation of the marketplace, not just for goods, but for all sorts of leisure pursuits.Tons of interesting facts & well researched, and I normally love this kind of thing but I think the writer should have been an accountant. It was incredibly boring and ba...
  • Daný
    I bought this book to prepare for the 2016 'Consuming (the) Victorians' conference but didn't get round to reading it until almost a year after the conference. Flanders offers a readable and interesting account of various kinds of consumption in the Victorian age. I liked the way she linked different kinds of consumption and how she looked to earlier periods for the beginnings of certain kinds of consumption and movements. The only thing I missed...
  • Jeanette Fast Redmond
    I wanted to love this book, as I have enjoyed Flanders’ other social histories about (variously) London, Victorian homes, and Christmas. But unusually for her, this book puts numbers ahead of narrative. Rather than delve into the delights of Bath, for example, we’re treated to numbers of visitors and residents. She charmingly discusses the growth of the theater in the Victorian era, but it’s all buried beneath box office figures and the min...
  • Sarah
    Not my favourite book by this author. What I love about Judith Flanders is the facts she gives you that really give you an insight into a period. Like the fact you could hire a hot bath in Victorian England which would be delivered by men wearing slippers so as not to disturb the invalid. This book has some of that especially towards the end. But it is more a treatise on how things changed over the period with numbers of shops in different period...
  • Rebecca
    If there is anything you ever wanted to know about how the Victorians spent their free time, and the origin of it - this is the book to read it in. It is a quite magnificent (and impressive) collection of facts presented by the author in 12 differently themed chapters (or I should say 11, since there is actually two chapters on shopping, but that's the only case) and in each chapter the subjects are dealt with in a very associative manner - a cha...
  • Andrew
    This really opened my eyes to the complexities and realities of so much of Victorian Britain.It all seems so familiar from the novels of Dickens,Collins,and Eliot,and the paintings of Frith and the prints of Dore, that it comes as a shock to realise that so many aspects of modern life, as we know it, began in Victorian England; professional sport,mass-market magazines & newspapers, foreign travel,trade catalogues & class-consciousness...A very we...
  • Louise Culmer
    Very enjoyable book about various different types of leisure activities that were popular in the Victorian era and how they from the 18th century to the late Victorian period. I found the chapter about shopping particularly interesting, and the chapters on reading, on travel and holidays, on shows and spectacles etc, are also fascinating. The book is crammed with interesting information. The only thing I found slightly disappointing is that no me...
  • Rebecca Jenkins
    Judith Flanders books are always entertaining and informative - and substantial. I don't know how she manages to cover so much ground with such a breadth of sources. In this chunky book she takes the reader through shopping, music, theatre, publishing and so much more across the 19th century. I love the vivid little insights that bring nose to nose with the past. For me it is a slow read, because I find so much in it, but you can also dip in and ...
  • Lauren Albert
    This was great.More informative about the time period than the subject would suggest. The chapters are devoted to The Great Exhibition, the 18th-century shop, the 19th-century shop, news/magazines, book publishing, travel and tourism, "shows" (panoramas, etc.), theater, music, sports and Christmas (its development as an important, and "spending" holiday).
  • Suzanne
    Packed with fascinating information about the rise and development in consumerism in Britain. Though the cover specifies the Victorian age as the focus, Judith Flanders goes back to the eighteenth century and beyond to give background and prove that many supposed Victorian innovations were in fact there all the time. Excellent, eclectic read.
  • Marta Palomares
    An extremely well documented book, with interesting material and bits and pieces which are not easily found in other books.
  • Anne
    Altogether too dense, too much information
  • Erik
    Wonderful, and charming, but a bit long. I recommend this book to those obsessed with Victoriana, which more people should be.
  • Helen Smith
    Very interesting if a little repetitive.