The Victorian House
Domestic Life from Childbirth to Deathbed
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|Format:||Paperback, 528 pages|
|Other Information: ||40 b/w illus, (3 x 8pp colour plate sections), With index|
|Published In: ||United Kingdom, 02 August 2004|
The best-selling social history of Victorian domestic life, told through the letters, diaries, journals and novels of 19th century men and women. The Victorian age is both recent and unimaginably distant. In the most prosperous and technologically advanced nation in the world, people carried slops up and down stairs; buried meat in fresh earth to prevent mould forming; wrung sheets out in boiling water with their bare hands. This drudgery was routinely performed by the parents of people still living, but the knowledge of it has passed as if it had never been. Running water, stoves, flush lavatories -- even lavatory paper -- arrived slowly throughout the century, and most were luxuries available only to the prosperous. Judith Flanders, author of the widely acclaimed A Circle of Sisters, has written an incisive and irresistible portrait of Victorian domestic life. The book itself is laid out like a house, following the story of daily life from room to room: from childbirth in the master bedroom, through the scullery, kitchen and dining room -- cleaning, dining, entertaining -- on upwards, ending in the sickroom and death. Through a collage of diaries, letters, advice books, magazines and paintings, Flanders shows how social history is built up out of tiny domestic details. Through these we can understand the desires, motivations and thoughts of the age. Many people today live in Victorian terraces, and so the houses themselves are familiar, but the lives are not. The Victorian House will change all that.
About the Author
Judith Flanders is the author of critically acclaimed A Circle of Sisters, which was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award. She is a frequent contributor to the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian and the Evening Standard.
Hardback has sold over 22,000 copies in the UK. In the bestselling tradition of Redcoat and Daughters of Britannia, the book tells history through personal anecdote and experience. Commercial and accessible, this book feeds the lasting and incurable interest in details of ordinary lives in history, as illustrated by the success of the television series' The 1900 House and The Edwardian House.
'An enthralling, entertaining and thought-provoking revelation of the realities of life in the tall, thin, Victorian town house.' Evening Standard 'This book is a splendidly entertaining read, and it also breaks new ground. No one has ever written so interestingly or wittily about housework.' The Spectator 'Rich and well ordered, this study casts brilliant light... Curious facts tumble from the pages.' The Economist 'The delight of this book... is the intelligence and freshness of its inferences.' The Sunday Times 'Judith Flanders' artful arrangement of fascinating facts brings new life to people (mostly female) and places (all domestic) that traditional history ignored.' Literary Review
|Dimensions: ||19.0 x 13.0 centimeters (0.40 kg)|