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The Making of Home The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Homes by Judith Flanders

The Making of Home The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Homes

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One of my very favourite books of last year, a wonderful all encompassing history of European and American home life as experienced over the past 500 years. Judith Flanders overturns our notions of what home has meant in previous centuries, our own notions of the family home would seem fantastical even to someone from 100 years ago. How advancements have been made are lovingly detailed and the humblest household item is considered alongside more necessary items such as bricks for the walls and glass for the windows. I loved the wealth of detail, the quotations from diaries, letters and literature and how one is left wondering what the future will bring, will future homes be unrecognisable to us? ~ Sue Baker

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The Making of Home The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Homes by Judith Flanders

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 sixteenth to the early twentieth 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. As full of fascinating detail as her previous bestsellers, The Making of Home is also a book teeming with original and provocative ideas.


'Fascinating... A treasure chest, bursting with facts and thoughts about what homes mean and how they have been lived in: a perfect book to curl up with in the comfort of your own.' --Frances Wilson, Mail on Sunday

'From the humble shack to the modern high-rise, Judith Flanders brilliantly illuminates the meaning of home throughout history. The Making of Home is a fascinating and ambitious exploration into the soul of family life. We are more than what we eat, we are also how we live.' --Amanda Foreman

About the Author

Judith Flanders

Judith Flanders is the author of the bestselling The Victorian House: Domestic Life from Childbirth to Deathbed (2003); the critically acclaimed Consuming Passions: Leisure and Pleasure in Victorian Britain (2006); A Circle of Sisters (2001), which was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award; The Invention of Murder (2011); and, most recently, The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London (2012). She is a frequent contributor to the Sunday Telegraph, Guardian, Spectator and The Times Literary Supplement. Currently a senior research fellow at the University of Buckingham, she lives in London.

Author photo © Clive Barda

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd September 2015


Judith Flanders

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Atlantic Books


368 pages


Biography / Autobiography
The Real World
eBook Favourites

Social & cultural history
Sociology: customs & traditions
European history
History of the Americas



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