The 500-year old story of how, and why, our homes have come to be what they are, from the author of Inside the Victorian Home and The Invention of Murder
The idea that "home" is a special place, a separate place, a place where we can be our true selves, is so obvious to us today that we barely pause to think about it. But, as Judith Flanders shows in this revealing book, "home" is a relatively new concept. When in 1900 Dorothy assured the citizens of Oz that "There is no place like home," she was expressing a view that was a culmination of 300 years of economic, physical, and emotional change. In The Making of Home, Flanders traces the evolution of the house across northern Europe and America from the 16th to the early 20th century, and paints a striking picture of how the homes we know today differ from homes through history. The transformation of houses into homes, she argues, was not a private matter, but an essential ingredient in the rise of capitalism and the birth of the Industrial Revolution. Without "home," the modern world as we know it would not exist, and as Flanders charts the development of ordinary household objects--from cutlery, chairs, and curtains, to fitted kitchens, plumbing, and windows--she also peels back the myths that surround some of our most basic assumptions, including our entire notion of what it is that makes a family.