There's a Bed in the Piano: The inside Story of the American Home

There's a Bed in the Piano: The inside Story of the American Home

by Myrna Kaye
     
 

In her charming new book, Myrna Kaye tells the story of the American home through the development of its furniture, the introduction of the porch and outdoor living, the various rooms and their functions, and regional and ethnic styles.

There's a Bed in the Piano brings American social history to life to change the way people see ordinary things. Guided by old

…  See more details below

Overview

In her charming new book, Myrna Kaye tells the story of the American home through the development of its furniture, the introduction of the porch and outdoor living, the various rooms and their functions, and regional and ethnic styles.

There's a Bed in the Piano brings American social history to life to change the way people see ordinary things. Guided by old letters and diaries, bits of world history, and debunked myths, readers learn to "read" rooms and furniture for clues to social and cultural ties. The chapters are filled with odd and amusing facts (there actually was a bed built into a piano) and fascinating explanations of the wonders of the home. Detailed period photographs, engravings, and views of rooms and objects illuminate the text and provide a window into homes from the past.

There's a Bed in the Piano is sure to delight people interested in antiques, the decorative arts, interiors, and social history. Here is an imaginative telling of how and why our homes are as they are and what it has been like to live in America.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kaye, who wrote Fake, Fraud, or Genuine: Identifying Authentic Antique Furniture, wants us to "read" the cultural and social significance of tables, chairs, porches, windows and home layouts. The detailed historical perspective she provides here allows readers to do just that. Early New England antiques are Kaye's strong suit, but her fascination with that period and place might occasionally exceed that of a general-interest reader who comes to the book for a broader perspective. In addition, the superior tone with which she corrects other people's perceived misconceptions (annoyingly termed "fawbits" here, for fictional accounts without basis in truth) quickly becomes tiresome. Kaye's brightest moments are when she uses her historical knowledge to shine light on the present. After tracing the history of the American kitchen, Kaye's riff on the modern gadget that dispenses boiling water at your kitchen sink gleams like a gem. But she places higher value (and writes many more words) on historical goose chases, such as an overwrought attempt to prove the American porch came from Africa with the slaves. This might well be true, but Kaye's unwieldy prose makes the theory sound convoluted. In sections where she has less to prove, her voice is much more appealing. (Oct.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780821223741
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
10/20/1998
Pages:
260
Product dimensions:
8.32(w) x 10.31(h) x 0.99(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >