Synopses & Reviews
Walk through five centuries of homes both great and smallfrom the smoke-filled manor halls of the Middle Ages to today's Ralph Lauren-designed environmentson a house tour like no other, one that delightfully explicates the very idea of "home."
You'll see how social and cultural changes influenced styles of decoration and furnishing, learn the connection between wall-hung religious tapestries and wall-to-wall carpeting, discover how some of our most welcome luxuries were born of architectural necessity, and much more. Most of all, Home opens a rare window into our private livesand how we really want to live.
"In a loosely configured essay, Rybczynski discusses the idea of comfort and the Western cultural attitudes that have shaped it since the end of the middle ages. Rather than dealing with the technical aspects of architecture, he reviews such cultural variables as intimacy and privacy, domesticity, ease, and ideas about light, air, and efficiency as they have changed over time...."Library Journal
"Rybczynski has discovered many absorbing facts about our domestic evolution, and shows what a lot of human thought has gone into the modern chair, or attitudes about fresh air, or a room of our own...." William Gass, The New York Times Book Review
"Here is a book that will change thew ay you look at your house or apartmentfor the better."
"Rybczynski's style is as loose and, yes, as comfortable as a down-filled comforter."
The Christian Science Monitor
"Sensible and stylish"
"It's a bracing, irreverent, worldly wise book."
Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Home is serious, historically minded, and exquisitely readable. It is a triumph of intelligence."
The New Yorker
Rybczynski presents a brilliant assessment of the social, cultural, economic, and political factors that have shaped Western concepts of privacy, domesticity, and comfort.
This immensely popular, witty, and highly provocative book is changing people's attitudes about convenience, decor, and technology in home design and furnishing. 10 black-and-white illustrations.
About the Author
Witold Rybczynski of Polish parentage, was born in Edinburgh in 1943, raised in Surrey, and attended Jesuit schools in England and Canada. He received Bachelor of Architecture (1960) and Master of Architecture (1972) degrees from McGill University in Montreal. He is the author of more than fifty articles and papers on the subject of housing, architecture, and technology, including the books Taming the Tiger, Paper Heroes, The Most Beautiful House in the World, Waiting for the Weekend, and Looking Around: A Journey Through Architecture (all available in Penguin), and most recently, City Life. He lives with his wife, Shirley Hallam, in Philadelphia and is the Martin and Margy Myerson Professor of Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Nostalgia
*Two: Intimacy and Privacy
*Four: Commodity and Delight
*Six: Light and Air
*Eight: Style and Substance
*Ten: Comfort and Well-Being