Staff Pick: Holiday Reads

Our staff members recommend their favourite Yale holiday reads. A book you can read at the beach or at a cosy cottage by the fireside!


August’s Staff Pick: Palaces of Pleasure

Academic and Community Marketing Manager James Williams recommends Palaces of Pleasure: From Music Halls to the Seaside to Football, How the Victorians Invented Mass Entertainment.

Lee Jackon’s Palaces of Pleasure, detailing how the Victorians invented mass entertainment,  is a perfect holiday read.  Amusements enjoyed by the Victorians included the Gin Palace “alluring drinking establishments, adorned with gaslight and gilding”, music halls and dancing rooms, pleasure gardens featuring firework displays and visits to seaside towns including Brighton and Margate. 

Jackson also details how football went from being “a rather old-fashioned, rough-and-tumble amusement, suitable only for fetes and local festivals”  at the start of the nineteenth century to “a commercially oriented, lucrative spectator sport” at the turn of the century with 110,000 spectators attending the 1901 Cup final between Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United.

You can hear the author discuss the book at a Reading Agency virtual event on Wednesday 25th August – book your free ticket here.

You can also read a Q&A with the author here.


Other Recommendations

Finance Director Emma Arnolda recommends The Richard Burton Diaries.

My recommendation for a holiday read would be The Richard Burton Diaries. An habitual diary keeper, this provides a fascinating insight into Burton’s life from his early years in Wales through to the glamour of Hollywood and his epic romance with Elizabeth Taylor. Burton comes across as funny, likeable and extremely erudite. Yet the diaries show a ruinous side, with missing weeks sometimes containing only one word: “booze”. An utterly fascinating account of a Hollywood legend and perfect holiday reading.

Find out more about The Richard Burton Diaries here.


Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

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