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Conceived as a showcase for Britain s burgeoning manufacturing industries and the exotic products of its Empire, the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace was Britain s first national spectacle This book examines the story of how the exhibition came into being the key characters who made it happen from Prince Albert, who was credited with the idea, to Thomas Cook, whose cheap railway trips ensured its accessibility to all and the tales behind the exhibitors and exhibits themselves, from the Koh i noor diamond to the quirky inventions on display Queen Victoria was very taken with a bed that physically ejected its occupant in the morning, for example One quarter of the British population had visited the exhibition by its close this is the story of how it fired the imagination of the era


10 thoughts on “World For A Shilling

  1. Robert Godden Robert Godden says:

    Great history book, Accessible and well researched Makes me want to readof some of the principal characters, particularly Prince Albert, who unexpectedly turns out to be a bit of a social reformer.It really shows how different the world was less than 200 years ago.I bought it for 1.50 in a charity shop, which the internet tells me is the purchasing power of half an 1851 shilling, so I got the World for Half a Shilling But it was worth the cover price of 7.99 easily.


  2. Sarah Sarah says:

    A fascinating and very readable book I don t recall any dull moments or weak links, as can occasionally happen with nonfiction I like the way this book explored social attitudes of the time by discussing the behaviour and attitudes of the visitors to the exhibition, and questioned the effect of the coming together of so many previously disparate sections of society This was just as interesting as the exploration of the exhibits to me There was also an interesting comparison with the Millenn A fascinating and very readable book I don t recall any dull moments or weak links, as can occasionally happen with nonfiction I like the way this book explored social attitudes of the time by discussing the behaviour and attitudes of the visitors to the exhibition, and questioned the effect of the coming together of so many previously disparate sections of society This was just as interesting as the exploration of the exhibits to me There was also an interesting comparison with the Millennium Dome project and why it might have failed as compared with the exhibition of 1851 I know which one I d rather have visitedI d recommend people who enjoyed this book to take a look at Bill Bryson s At Home , which explores the history of domestic life with a focus on the Victorian era, beginning as it does with an overview of the Great Exhibition


  3. Norain Norain says:

    The Great Exhibition was the shared ideas of a number of people, among them Prince Albert who was ever eager to do something that would leave him a better name in the history book than just the Prince Consort, husband of Queen Victoria Most chapters of this book told of the sequence of event chronologically the planning phases, the designing and construction of Crystal Palace, the opening ceremony, all the way to the closing ceremony and what happened to the Palace after it was all over Among The Great Exhibition was the shared ideas of a number of people, among them Prince Albert who was ever eager to do something that would leave him a better name in the history book than just the Prince Consort, husband of Queen Victoria Most chapters of this book told of the sequence of event chronologically the planning phases, the designing and construction of Crystal Palace, the opening ceremony, all the way to the closing ceremony and what happened to the Palace after it was all over Among the most interesting things I found were a brief history of public toilet in London and the railway system which was new at that time The Great Exhibition was the first world fair ever held and even though it did not bring unity for all nations as the Prince Consort had optimistically hoped for, it did have a great impact on Britain For one thing, we had Harrods today because of the profit Charles Harrod managed to get from the high influx of visitors to London at that time.This was a very entertaining read It was not too detailed there were two chapters dedicated to describing the exhibits which I found quite exhaustive, though and the writer had declared beforehand that this was not meant to be an academic book, but it was informative nonetheless It made me hope that I were among the crowds fighting my way into the Crystal Palace or even better, among one of the season ticket holders privileged to attending the opening ceremony by the Queen.By the way, if you wonder why the title was so, it was referring to the time when the price of tickets was brought down to one shilling to allowpeople to visit the exhibition


  4. Denise Denise says:

    This book really satisfied my huge interest in Crystal Palace and the Great Exhibition It went into great detail about all aspects of the event, from the building of the venue, who was involved, how it progressed, what was diplayed, the worldwide participants and visitors it attracted, the economic and political problems that had to be overcome Th e author did a fantastic job of covering all the bases with his research and relaying what he discovered As an enthusiast, this book was perfect fo This book really satisfied my huge interest in Crystal Palace and the Great Exhibition It went into great detail about all aspects of the event, from the building of the venue, who was involved, how it progressed, what was diplayed, the worldwide participants and visitors it attracted, the economic and political problems that had to be overcome Th e author did a fantastic job of covering all the bases with his research and relaying what he discovered As an enthusiast, this book was perfect for me


  5. Riley Riley says:

    A short but enjoyable account of the planning, operation and aftermath of the 1851 Great Exhibition I have always been fascinated by this event and was not disappointed by this book It contains fascinating insights into the Exhibition s evolution from a rough idea to a thriving enterprise which brought the great, the good, the enterprising and the exotic together for a few remarkable months as seen through the eyes of individuals and their experiences Well worth a read if you enjoy Exhibition A short but enjoyable account of the planning, operation and aftermath of the 1851 Great Exhibition I have always been fascinated by this event and was not disappointed by this book It contains fascinating insights into the Exhibition s evolution from a rough idea to a thriving enterprise which brought the great, the good, the enterprising and the exotic together for a few remarkable months as seen through the eyes of individuals and their experiences Well worth a read if you enjoy Exhibitions or Victorian Industrial Revolution era history