Domestic Life from Childbirth to Deathbed.
From bestselling author of 'A Circle Of Sisters', a social history of Victorian domestic life told through the letters, diaries, journals and novels of 19th century men and women. Organised room by room, the book is a complete exploration of Victorian life - dark, cold and dirty.
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, flushing lavatories, even lavatory paper, arrived slowly throughout the century; and most were luxuries available only to the prosperous.
Focusing on a middle-class home, circa 1850, of the sort that many people live in today, Flanders' new book is itself laid out like a house. It follows the story of daily life from room to room: from childbirth in the master bedroom, through the scullery and kitchen - cleaning, dining, entertaining - on upwards, ending in the sickroom and death.
Under Judith Flanders' expert guidance, 'The Victorian House' opens up in front of the reader to become a full exploration of Victorian life.