History and Current Events
Queen Victoria's Matchmaking: The Royal Marriages That Shaped Europe by Deborah CadburyWhat it is: the captivating story of how, six decades into her rule, a scheming Queen Victoria began arranging marriages for her 42 grandchildren in an effort to extend constitutional monarchy and maintain political alliances throughout Europe.
For fans of: Downton Abbey, The Crown, and Victoria.
Try this next: For another enthralling book on Her Majesty's family relationships, check out Lucy Worsley's Queen Victoria: Twenty-Four Days That Changed Her Life.
The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London by Judith FlandersWhat it's about: Offering striking imagery and a strong sense of place, this colorful social history vividly recreates the London that Charles Dickens occupied: squalid, overpopulated, pungent, and loud.
Read it for: Judith Flanders' insights on how the rapidly transforming London informed Dickens' work (including how the meaning of the word "Dickensian" changed over time).
Reviewers say: "This is a superb portrait of an exciting, thriving, and dangerous city" (Booklist).
How to Be a Victorian: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Victorian Life by Ruth GoodmanWhat it's about: historian and BBC presenter Ruth Goodman's charming and lighthearted efforts to recreate Victorian daily routines.
Living history: Goodman brushed her teeth with soot, laundered clothes by hand, performed 19th-century calisthenics, ate pigs feet and suet pudding, and mastered wearing a corset.
Don't miss: Goodman making condoms out of sheep's guts.
Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese OneillWhat it is: an irreverent, lough-out-loud "guide" to proper Victorian womanhood.
Chapters include: "Getting Dressed: How to Properly Hide Your Shame;" "Running a Proper Household: The Gentle Art of Dictatorship"
Featuring: 200 images from the era's publications and public service flyers, accompanied by Therese Oneill's tongue-in-cheek captions.
The Wicked Boy: An Infamous Murder in Victorian London by Kate SummerscaleWhat it is: a surprising "whydunit" that doggedly investigates the case of Nattie and Robert Coombes, who were charged with the 1895 murder of their mother when they were only 12 and 13 years old.
Book buzz: The Wicked Boy won the 2017 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Fact Crime Book.
Reviewers say: "a tragedy that reads like a Dickens novel, including the remarkable payoff at the end" (Publishers Weekly).
Contact your librarian for more great books!