The Light of the Home: An Intimate View of the Lives of Women in Victorian America

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From the greatest collection of American Voctoriana comes a wonderful evocation of the lives of women 100 years ago. 125 black & white photos.
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Overview

From the greatest collection of American Voctoriana comes a wonderful evocation of the lives of women 100 years ago. 125 black & white photos.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Green's lively text . . . is delightfully illustrated with pictures and artifacts." —Time

"A fascinating, lavishly illustrated, and very disturbing inventory of the means by which 'women's place' has been defined." --Washington Post Book World

"Harvey Green's Light of the Home is a rich portrait of Victorian domesticity and everyday life. Lively, accessible writing and evocative illustrations combine in this volume to convey a sense of nineteenth-century family relationships, women's experiences, and the material culture of the home." --Kathy Peiss, author of Hope in a Jar: The Making of America's Beauty Culture (Owl Books, 1999) and Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century New York (Temple, 1987)

"This book offers a beautifully illustrated and compellingly argued case for the centrality of domestic architecture and decoration to the social identities and cultural values of middle-class Americans in the Victorian era. . . . Green's book was among a handful that located material objects within a rich and complex historical context and showed how they helped to constitute, not just ornament, middle-class family life. Despite the book's pioneering status, it stands up brilliantly over time. Indeed, given the renewed attention among historians, literary scholars, and gender studies scholars to domesticity and its myriad functions, Light of the Home will find a ready audience across disciplines. . . . The book will also, I am sure, continue to have a popular audience, especially among people who tour historic houses, support historic preservation, and browse museum gift shops. Bravo to University of Arkansas Press for reviving a classic!" --Nancy Hewitt, co-editor of Companion to American Women's History (Blackwell's, 2002), and author of Southern Discomfort: Women's Activism in Tampa, Florida, 1880s-1920s (Illinois, 2001)

"A beautiful book, and a significant contribution to our understanding of middle-class women in Victorian America." --Warren Susman, author of Culture As History: The Transformation of American Society in the Twentieth Century (Random House, 1985)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394713298
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1983
  • Pages: 205
  • Product dimensions: 7.22 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author


Harvey Green is a professor of history and thedirector of the Public History Program at Northeastern University. He is the author of The Uncertainty of Everyday Life, 1915-1945 (Arkansas, 2000) and Fit for America: Health, Fitness, Sport, and American Society 1830-1940 (Johns Hopkins, 1988). Mary-Ellen Perry was the principal curator of the exhibit "The Light of the Home: Middle-Class American Women: 1870-1910" at the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum in Rochester, New York.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction 3
1 "A Woman's Calling": Courtship and Marriage 10
2 Madonna in the Nursery: The Cult of Motherhood 29
3 Cleanliness and Godliness: The Tyranny of Housework 59
4 Piano in the Parlor: Decorating the Home 93
5 The Temple of Virtue: Health in Body and Mind 112
6 Cycling and the Social Graces: The New Leisure 144
7 A Home in Heaven: Religion, Death, and Mourning 165
8 Epilogue 180
Notes 186
Index 200
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