Behind the Scenes: Domestic Arrangements in Historic Houses by Christina Hardyment

Behind the Scenes: Domestic Arrangements in Historic Houses by Christina Hardyment lands on the |> SALE <| shelves in my shop.

The National Trust, 1997, Hardback in dust wrapper.

First in this edition. [First: Penguin, 1992] Jacket illustration: Detail of the nineteenth-century bell-pull system in the Servants Passage at Erddig, Clwyd. Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Facsimiles; Colour Photographs; Black & White Drawings; Plans;

From the cover: No man need ever have an ill-provisioned house if there be but attached to it a dovecot, a warren and a fishpond, wrote Olivier de Serres in 1603.

In todays world, with the supermarket down the street and a host of modern domestic appliances in the kitchen, it has never been easier to feed, bathe, and pamper ourselves and never harder to imagine how our ancestors managed to run a household in the days before gas, electricity, central heating, and running water. How did they cook meals, bake bread, and launder clothes? And how did they keep their houses clean?

To answer these and other questions, Christina Hardyment conducted a fascinating quest into the history of housekeeping through the well-preserved properties of Britains National Trust, among them Petworth, Uppark, Shugborough, and Lanhydrock. To reconstruct the ingenious methods used by earlier generations to make a house a home and to keep themselves warm and well-fed, she squirmed through drains, poked around sculleries and cellars, and clambered into icehouses and up chimneys. The result of her explorations is an informative, amusing text that recounts not only the history of the kitchen, the bathroom, and the laundry, but also investigates bakehouses and breweries, dairies and dovecotes, the lamp room and the larder.

Accompanying Hardyments descriptions of what she found in great mansions, humble cottages, medieval castles and Victorian town-houses are archival documents and accounts and a wealth of color photographs, many taken especially for this book. Together, text and illustrations reveal the domestic world of days gone by in extraordinarily intimate, often touching, and even surprising detail.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper.

Grey boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 256 pages. Index. Bibliography. 10″ x 9″.

Of course, if you don’t like this one there are plenty more available here!

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