"All the Time in the World proffers a miscellany of customs, traditions, and pleasures people have pursued throughout the ages. An antidote to the contemporary cult of Getting Things Done, the book takes its cue from the medieval books of hours, which prescribed certain readings and contemplations for various parts of the day and year. Full of witty bon mots, interesting etymologies, and arresting anecdotes, the book encompasses an array of cultures and eras including ancient Greece, Renaissance Florence, 1930s Shanghai, and the Hollywood Hills of the late 1960s, drifting through the worlds of fashion, beauty, art, food, or travel. Focusing on the glamorous, eccentric, unusual and sublime, subjects covered include: the daylong ceremony of laying a royal Elizabethan tablecloth; the radicalization of sartorial chic in 1890s Paris; Nostradamus' belief in the aphrodisiac power of jam (and the book of recipes he published the same year as his predictions); the sensuous practice of sniffing incense in 15th century Japan; the American fascination with flaming desserts; the short-lived artistic discipline of "lumia," or visual music; the Ottoman Empire's 17th century ban on coffee; the magnetic atmosphere that fueled Parisian highlife in the 1920s; Henriette d'Angeville's fearless ascent of Mont Blanc, armed with 13 guides, 24 roast chickens, and 18 bottles of wine; the elaborate treasure hunts concocted by London's Bright Young Things; and the musical revolution known as bebop. Entertaining, unexpected, and charming, All the Time in the World digs up the forgotten treasures of the past and inspires a passion for good living in the present"-- Provided by publisher.