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Our Own Snug Fireside: Images of the New England Home, 1760-1860
     

Our Own Snug Fireside: Images of the New England Home, 1760-1860

5.0 1
by Jane C. Nylander
 

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This charming book portrays domestic life in New England during the century between the American Revolution and the Civil War. Drawing on diaries, letters, wills, newspapers, and other sources, Jane C. Nylander provides intimate details about preparing dinner, spinning and weaving textiles, washing and ironing laundry, planning a social outing, and exchanging food

Overview

This charming book portrays domestic life in New England during the century between the American Revolution and the Civil War. Drawing on diaries, letters, wills, newspapers, and other sources, Jane C. Nylander provides intimate details about preparing dinner, spinning and weaving textiles, washing and ironing laundry, planning a social outing, and exchanging food and services. Probing behind the many myths that have grown up about this era, Nylander reveals the complex reality of everyday life in old New England.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The ideal New England home, as perceived in the late 19th century, was warm, welcoming and comfortable, a hive of hard work and frugality, a stable haven from the rapidly changing world outside. This conventional image had a solid basis in reality, maintains Nylander, who mines diaries, letters, wills, inventories, newspapers, advice books and travel accounts for this delightfully intimate portrayal of New England home life. Director of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, Nylander delineates a complex barter economy in which farm produce was a common medium of exchange and people swapped specialized work skills. Contrary to the popular image, however, she shows that change was a household constant, with the coming and going of friends, family, help and travelers. Enlivened by 162 period illustrations, her survey affords a rare glimpse of middle- and upper-class housework, clothing, kitchens, diet, socializing and much else. BOMC alternate. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Soon after the American Revolution, New Englanders began to idealize their rural farms and homesteads as bastions of security in a rapidly changing world. Some reminiscences stretched back to the 17th century, drawing on memories, artifacts, and a sense of history. In particular, four remarkable women cited here kept extensive journals of daily life for more than a half-century. By the Civil War the preservation of the ``snug fireside'' had become literally a cottage industry. Museum curator Nylander uses this evidence to construct a series of excellent essays describing the customs, traditions, friends, families, and workloads of the ``typical'' New England household. Chapters on housework, seasons, clothing, food, and holidays document women's work at home. This fine social history of forgotten routines is recommended for most libraries.-- Harry W. Fritz, Univ. of Montana, Missoula
Denise Perry Donavin
Drawing from the memoirs, letters, wills, and inventories of three eighteenth- and nineteenth-century homemakers (as well as newspapers and other published accounts), Nylander draws a century-long portrait of day-to-day activities in a New England home. Most interesting of all is her focus on the collision of "reality and reminiscence." So many glorified images have been drawn of this period that Nylander's nitty-gritty approach is absorbing. In detail, she describes housekeeping duties, the care of clothing, winter survival tactics, cookery, social outings, and holidays. Photographs from various historical societies along with period sketches and paintings add pizzazz and authenticity.
Richard Grant
A fascinating evocation of home life the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries….It is so highly detailed, even intimate, in its treatment of its subject matter that it manages to achieve a quality of universality and timelessness.
Down East

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780394549842
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/06/1993
Pages:
317

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Our Own Snug Fireside: Images of the New England Home, 1760-1860 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want to know just how things were way back then, you'll love this book!!