No single invention epitomizes the Victorian era more than the black cast-iron range, which provided morning tea but might even have kick-started the Industrial Revolution. Wielding the wit and passion exhibited in How to Be a Victorian, Ruth Goodman traces the shift from wood to coal that began in the mid-16th century—from sooty trials and errors during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I to the smog-clouded age of Queen Victoria. A pattern of innovation emerges as the women stoking these fires also stoked new global industries, from better soap to new ingredients for cooking.
"Goodman offers a detailed, abundantly illustrated picture of the ways coal changed daily life…. An engaging history of social transformation."—Kirkus Reviews