Rummage (Hardback)

A History of the Things We Have Reused, Recycled and Refused to Let Go

Emily Cockayne

An original exploration of all the ordinary, extraordinary and totally mad things we've thrown out and redeemed through the ages

'Brilliantly original ... shimmering book. ... What binds this book together and gives it a numinous quality is the tenderness that the author displays for other people's ingenious leftovers, from brotherly teeth to Puritan kites.' Guardian
'Rich, meticulous, lively' Sunday Times

Rummage tells the overlooked story of our throwaway past. Emily Cockayne extracts glittering gems from the rubbish pile of centuries past and introduces us to the visionaries, crooks and everyday do-gooders who have shaped the material world we live in today - like the fancy ladies of the First World War who turned dog hair into yarn, or the Victorian gentlemen selling pianofortes made from papier-mâché, or the hapless public servants coaxing people into giving up their railings for the greater good.

In this original and fascinating new history, Cockayne illuminates our relationship to our rubbish: from the simple question of how we reuse and recycle things (and which is better), to all the weird and wonderful ways it's been done in the past. She exposes the hidden work (often done by women) that has gone into shaping the world for each future generation, and she shows what lessons can be drawn from the past to address urgent questions of our waste today.

Publication date: 09/07/2020

£16.99

ISBN: 9781781258514

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: History & Classics

Rummage (Ebook)

A History of the Things We Have Reused, Recycled and Refused to Let Go

Emily Cockayne

An original exploration of all the ordinary, extraordinary and totally mad things we've thrown out and redeemed through the ages

'Brilliantly original ... shimmering book. ... What binds this book together and gives it a numinous quality is the tenderness that the author displays for other people's ingenious leftovers, from brotherly teeth to Puritan kites.' Guardian
'Rich, meticulous, lively' Sunday Times

Rummage tells the overlooked story of our throwaway past. Emily Cockayne extracts glittering gems from the rubbish pile of centuries past and introduces us to the visionaries, crooks and everyday do-gooders who have shaped the material world we live in today - like the fancy ladies of the First World War who turned dog hair into yarn, or the Victorian gentlemen selling pianofortes made from papier-mâché, or the hapless public servants coaxing people into giving up their railings for the greater good.

In this original and fascinating new history, Cockayne illuminates our relationship to our rubbish: from the simple question of how we reuse and recycle things (and which is better), to all the weird and wonderful ways it's been done in the past. She exposes the hidden work (often done by women) that has gone into shaping the world for each future generation, and she shows what lessons can be drawn from the past to address urgent questions of our waste today.

Publication date: 09/07/2020

£12.99

ISBN: 9781782833574

ISBN 10 / ASIN: B01MZC0DSH

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: History & Classics

Reviews for Rummage

'Smart and encyclopaedic...a lively and frequently surprising history of what we reuse and what we throw away.'

 The i Paper

'Brilliantly researched and stuffed to the brim with weird and wonderful facts. Rummage lifts the lid on rubbish to reveal the story of reuse and recycling in all its fascinating glory.'

Lara Maiklem, author Mudlarking

'

Brilliantly original ... shimmering book. ... What binds this book together and gives it a numinous quality is the tenderness that the author displays for other people's ingenious leftovers, from brotherly teeth to Puritan kites.

'

 Guardian

'A marvellous history of the second and third lives of objects and, just as important, a timely reminder that there are ways out of a throw-away-society.'

Frank Trentmann, author of Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First 

'Pertinent, fascinating and full of intricate, joyful detail.'

Annie Gray, author of The Greedy Queen 

'Rummage overflows with detail. She rescues wonderfully bizarre artefacts from rubbish heaps to plot Britain's changing attitudes to consumption and recycling ... the way she embraces historical anecdote, social critique and personal reminiscence never seems ponderous ... By breaking down the boundaries between waste and overlooked treasure, Rummage will make us think twice about what we throw away in future.'

 Spectator

'One of those rare books, a marvellous curiosity shop of fascinating historical gems, objects and insights, a feat of scholarship and a salutary book for our throw-away times.'

Rebecca Stott, author Ghostwalk

'Rich, meticulous, lively'

 Sunday Times

'Wonderful...worth re-reading'

 Bookmunch

'I enjoyed Cockayne's book immensely'

 Independent

'An original and unusual history of recycling'

 TLS

Emily Cockayne

Emily Cockayne

Emily Cockayne is a senior lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of East Anglia. She is author of Hubbub: Filth, Noise & Stench in England (2007), cited by Toni Morrison a key source for A Mercy, and Cheek by Jowl: A History of Neighbours (2012).

She tweets @Rummage_work