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Household Gods: The British and Their Possessions


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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

At what point did the British develop their mania for interiors, wallpaper, furniture, and decoration? Why have the middle classes developed so passionate an attachment to the contents of their homes? This absorbing book offers surprising answers to these questions, uncovering the roots of todays consumer society and investigating the forces that shape consumer desires. Richly illustrated, Household Gods chronicles a hundred years of British interiors, focusing on class, choice, shopping, and possessions.

Exploring a wealth of unusual records and archives, Deborah Cohen locates the source of modern consumerism and materialism in early nineteenth-century religious fervor. Over the course of the Victorian era, consumerism shed the taint of sin to become the preeminent means of expressing individuality. The book ranges from musty antique shops to luxurious emporia, from suburban semi-detached houses to elegant city villas, from husbands fretting about mantelpieces to women appropriating home decoration as a feminist cause. It uncovers a society of consumers whose identities have become entwined with the things they put in their houses.

About the Author

Deborah Cohen is associate professor of history at Brown University. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Product Details

Cohen, Deborah
Yale University Press
Europe - Great Britain - General
Social history
Interior Design - General
World History-England General
Great britain
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
100 b/w + 15 color illus.
189 x 234 mm 1.95 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History
History and Social Science » World History » England » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Home and Garden » Interior Design » General

Household Gods: The British and Their Possessions New Mass Market
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Product details 336 pages Yale University Press - English 9780300136418 Reviews:
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