Re: poly: Wish list item

From: Carl Feynman <>
Date: Fri Dec 11 1998 - 06:19:18 PST

At 08:26 AM 12/9/98 -0700, Richard Schroeppel wrote:
>I would like to have a (computerized) encyclopedia of the ephemera (EE)
>that make up much of our daily lives....
>If my granddaughter, in 2050, is reading an article written in 1998,
>and it makes a passing reference to the "Bill and Monica show", the EE
>will alert her that the reference is to an ongoing scandal, rather than
>simply a random forgotten TV show.
>An EE would be a great boon to understanding stuff written a century
>ago. Sherlock Holmes made frequent use of reply-paid telegrams.
>In another century, the meaning might be lost to the casual reader.

Let me recommend "What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew : From Fox
Hunting to Whist-The Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England" by
Daniel Pool. It is exactly what you asked for, albeit confined to a single
nation and century. It's quite witty and fun to read all by itself, and it
has tremendously increased my enjoyment of Austen and Trollope.

ANother book along the same lines is "The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life
in Regency and Victorian England : From 1811-1901 (Writer's Guide to
Everday Life Series)" by Kristine Hughes, but I haven't read that.

Received on Fri Dec 11 14:30:59 1998

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