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A Year of Books
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Bill Bryson's history of private life proves time-consuming

2nd June 2010

Best-selling US author Bill Bryson has claimed his new book, which delves into the history of private life, took far longer to research than he expected.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, the writer, who has spent the past four years investigating the history of the family home for his new book At Home: A Short History of Private Life, claimed that when you delve into the history of hygiene and cooking you realise how significant the topics are.

'I don't know how many hours of my school years were spent studying the Missouri Compromise or the War of the Roses, but it was vastly more than I was ever encouraged or allowed to give to the history of eating, sleeping, having sex or endeavouring to be amused,' he told the newspaper.

Bryson, who also wrote the popular science book A Short History of Nearly Everything, claimed that even Einstein would have spent a substantial amount of his time thinking about his private life.

Speaking at the Hay Festival over the weekend, Bryson said he has been living in the UK long enough to become a British citizen but was 'too cowardly' to take the test.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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