Turning on the Taps

Spread the love

A book review of Turning on the Taps: The Amazing Story of Your Bathroom and its Accessories by Lorraine Michele

A book review of Turning on the Taps: The Amazing Story of Your Bathroom and its Accessories by Lorraine Michele

Stars: ****

Greg Arlo (2019)
Historical Study
250 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: A thoroughly entertaining romp through history! Who would believe an innocuous bath could have provoked such passion; from sex, scandal, the devil and disease, to royalty, money, religion and class?

Filled with fascinating characters, anecdotes and facts, our journey takes us from the heady days of Queen Cleopatra, to Greece and the cut-throat world of shaving; we discover the origins of soap and the extraordinary tooth-powders favoured by the populace; experience the ‘Pleasure Domes’ of ancient Rome; peak into the secretive world of mirrors in medieval Venice; witness the bawdy ‘Stews’ of King Henry VIII and uncover the sex and scandals of the Georgian spas.

It may be the smallest room in the house but your bathroom will never seem the same again. A super gift or ‘accessory’ for any bathroom.

Turning on the Taps

This book is a microhistory book, my favourite kind of nonfiction. Microhistory means the book is about the history of one thing or one type of thing. In this case the book is about the history of bathrooms and it’s related accessories.

This is like a smaller version of another book I reviewed: All The Dirt: A History of Getting Clean. That book was more thorough but I recommend this book for the average person who doesn’t necessarily want to read hundreds of pages of history.

You will learn about the following: the bath, bidets, shampoo, mirrors, toothpaste/brushes, dental floss, perfume, toilets, graffiti, razors, moving bathrooms, soap, spa, hammams/saunas and unusual bathroom etiquette. Some of these topics were not covered in that other book so I still learned new things!

At the end of each chapter is a “3 Facts About _____” section that gives three quick facts about what you just learned about. This was a fun way to end the chapter.

The book was written/published in the UK so most of the information is UK related. However a lot of that is the same no matter where you are and even if it’s not, it was still interesting to a non-UK resident.

Buy Turning on the Taps at Amazon.com and help support the blog.

Find Turning on the Taps at Goodreads.

About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.