The Making of Home: The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses

The Making of Home: The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses


    The Making of Home: The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses 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 her fascinating new book, home is a relatively new idea When inDorothy assured the citizens of Oz that There is no place like home , she was expressing a view that was the climax ofyears of change In The Making of Home, Flanders traces the evolution of the house from the sixteenth to the early twentieth century across northern Europe and America, and shows how the homes we know today bear only a faint resemblance to homes through history Along the way she investigates the development of ordinary household items from cutlery, chairs and curtains, to the fitted kitchen, plumbing and windows while also dismantling many domestic myths."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 368 pages
  • The Making of Home: The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Our Homes
  • Judith Flanders
  • 05 April 2018
  • 1250067359

10 thoughts on “The Making of Home: The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Our Homes

  1. Jaylia3 Jaylia3 says:

    This copiously researched 500 year history of homes in Europe and America has an almost overwhelming amount of detail, but is so fascinating I kept interrupting the lives of people around me to share something I had just read Stretching from the tiny, crowded, windowless shacks of our ancestors to the paradigm shifting development of modern suburbs, Judith Flanders has written an eye opening account Included in its scope are 500 years of evolving attitudes about family, marriage, children, gen This copiously researched 500 year history of homes in Europe and America has an almost overwhelming amount of detail, but is so fascinating I kept interrupting the lives of people around me to share something I had just read Stretching from the tiny, crowded, windowless shacks of our ancestors to the paradigm shifting development of modern suburbs, Judith Flanders has written an eye opening account Included in its scope are 500 years of evolving attitudes about family, marriage, children, gender roles, manners, human waste disposal, how brightly lit a home needs to be, when privacy is required, and what having a clean home means Flanders describes the difficult ways people got water into their houses before plumbing, how meals were cooked over an open fire stew was the main menu item for a long time , and how the Industrial Revolution came about The effects of religion, technology, and changing economic circumstances are explored, and one book long theme involves home versus house, and the fact that some languages and cultures don t make a distinction between the two words There were all sorts of oddities I didn t expect At different points in history beds used to be kept in the parlour for show, sand was put on the floor to soak up grease and wax, people shared beds with their servants, and what little furniture there was stayed pushed against the wall and only moved into the center as needed the better not to trip over it in the interior dimness that was standard for hundreds of years Another thing that interested me is that preserved historic houses are mainly the best of the best, not representative of where most people lived, and they are also the most recent examples of their kind no one would have saved earlier inferior dwellings as they were replaced For instance, as awful as they are the slave quarters on view for tourists are actually upgrades, and vast improvements over what enslaved people had to endure for most of the history of slavery in the American South


  2. Cheryl Cheryl says:

    I enjoyed it because it s written well, in that there are no stumbling blocks to understanding like jargon or self conscious wit I was fascinated by all the factoids, and the organization of them made sense Do note that this focuses on the colonies USA, England, France, Netherlands, and northern Europe Included are not too many footnotes, end references, bibliography, index, and plate sections with 32 illustrations But to me it seems like, ultimately, just a dense package of trivia Ok, y I enjoyed it because it s written well, in that there are no stumbling blocks to understanding like jargon or self conscious wit I was fascinated by all the factoids, and the organization of them made sense Do note that this focuses on the colonies USA, England, France, Netherlands, and northern Europe Included are not too many footnotes, end references, bibliography, index, and plate sections with 32 illustrations But to me it seems like, ultimately, just a dense package of trivia Ok, yes, it s history, not psychology and at one point Flanders mocks a psychological interpretation , and not architecture some modern, and not so modern, houses were designed deliberately to be un comfortable and inconvenient But still, I thought I was going to getabout how the way we live affects our thoughts Instead, it was , our thoughts affect the way we have been living One example is that cheap labor in England meant slower adoption of modern improvements and technology why invest in a water heater when you had a maid and a fireplace something like that.The use of art as evidence is compelling, but , as Flanders makes clear, for what is presented by the commissioned portraits and less so by a literal reading Neither then nor now does anyone actually live in a House Beautiful set And many of the homes that look poor to us are rich relative to the majority of people at the time again, how often are the apartments of the Projects photographed for magazines They re not now, and weren t then, so combined with evidence from household estate inventories and other sources , historians have pieced together a reality that shocks a modern reader then, the 99% lived 4 7 orin a one room home that we d call a hovel.Staircases, livestock, the roles of children, the definition of dirt, the power of the housewife, the fact that labour saving appliances ironically madetasks women s work and relieved the men so many interesting bits Some people will be bothered that there s no actual narrative, but I wasn t My main objection is that there s no conclusion or resonance, no answer to the question, So what, what does it mean, why tell this story I do recommend the book, 3.5 stars rounded up Let s see if I can get you to add it with some samples S eparate spheres were neverthan an idea, and an idea for the prosperous To believe they had a full, physical reality, creating borders between home and not home, between public and private, is comparable to believing that a nation s borders are a painted line on the ground, which has been there since the creation of the world.In 1871 the British census only classed female labour outside the house as productive , which implicitly rendered all work inside the house as un productive The 1881 census re categorized housewives as unoccupied Period room displays as in history museums might carefully confine themselves to items from a single region, or date, even though the contents of real homes have always been gathered over decades if not centuries, while trade routes from the sixteenth century onwards enabled goods to arrive from across the world.A prosperous woman in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1791 inadvertently makes plain how low the level of lighting usually was One supper party she attended, she marvelled, was so lighted we could see every body The nitrogen in men s urine women s isacidic speeds up the decomposition of kitchen refuse, and is still recommended for compost heaps today Btw, Flanders makes a distinction between countries languages that have two words for house home, and those who have only one, but I don t understand what that distinction is supposed to mean, exactly Something about primacy of privacy or family, maybe, I d guess If you can figure out what she was trying to say please let me know


  3. Gela Gela says:

    I feel as though this book took me forever to read I honestly felt like I was reading a research paper at times However there were times that I was completely into reading what makes a home versus a house and then reflecting on how I made my house a home I don t know who I would refer this book to, Joanne from HGtv, but other than that I don t know It s one of a kind that s for sure I would give this book a 3.5 Won this book First Reads on Goodreads


  4. Abigail Abigail says:

    So funny story about this book I originally put this book on my TBR because I signed up for a giveaway of this book I thought it sounded interesting I didn t win the giveaway, but just before I put this book on hold at the library the first time, I realized that it was the same author as The Invention of Murder How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime I was like Huh, that s interesting because I was on a Victorian crime kick a couple years ago and had re So funny story about this book I originally put this book on my TBR because I signed up for a giveaway of this book I thought it sounded interesting I didn t win the giveaway, but just before I put this book on hold at the library the first time, I realized that it was the same author as The Invention of Murder How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime I was like Huh, that s interesting because I was on a Victorian crime kick a couple years ago and had read it then It was a pretty cool book Due to some life changes I ended up not reading the book when I got it from the library the first time This second time, just before it came in I thought to myself Self, if you are intrigued by this book and you liked The Invention of Murder Perhaps you would like other books by this author So I looked up Judith Flanders Lo and behold, I ve actually read a third book by her Inside the Victorian Home A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England Which I happened to stumble across at the Massillon library early on in my Victorian crime kick I thought it was an interesting book but a little much at times Oh and the Victorians are weird Anyway, all that to say by defult, because I ve accidentally read three books by her, Judith Flanders has become one of my favorite authors Because I like to read about weird random stuff and she writes about weird random stuff.Now for the review This is a great book It s different than what I expected I was expecting a complete history of home dwelling from ancient times and throughout the world Instead, Flanders focuses on Europe and North America from the middle ages forward Instead of being a chronological study, the chapters focus on theme and it s well done There were a few times where as I was reading I thought She repeated this in a previous chapter, but it didn t detract from the rest of the book The book covers the culture of home, from the size of homes to men s and women s roles, to the role of furniture and architecture, lighting and plumbing Maybe that sounds boring to you, but it s all interwoven into culture which I m a huge fan of I learned a lot and realized there are a lot of misconceptions about the way people have lived throughout history I think my favorite was the discussion of people s longing for the Good old days and a return to the family unit as central Spoiler alert, families have been broken for a long time If you are like me and enjoy reading about culture, check this book out It s a pretty quick, enjoyable read


  5. J J says:

    Before I start, it seems wise to mention that house isakin to the place one returns while home isa safe haven in the author s text That said, the history that unfolds is muchabout the things we have come to include in our home rather than how the idea of house in Western tradition has morphed into the idea of home But then, if the sum of the parts is what makes the whole, the things we include conceivably become the home, which, by the end, isor less what Flande Before I start, it seems wise to mention that house isakin to the place one returns while home isa safe haven in the author s text That said, the history that unfolds is muchabout the things we have come to include in our home rather than how the idea of house in Western tradition has morphed into the idea of home But then, if the sum of the parts is what makes the whole, the things we include conceivably become the home, which, by the end, isor less what Flanders states As a cultural history, the book delivers, though the tone is less than exciting and within chapters the topics wander The author has an air of having done her research which is backed up by some copious notes , she just can t ever fully make the topics and items discussed completely engaging If you re curious as to why we have a certain image of houses and how the items we include within our houses make them less a place to return to anda safe haven, The Making of Home might catch your interest If you want a thrilling narrative about the evolution of houses, this won t quite satisfy.Note ARC received viaVine in exchange for review


  6. Caroline Caroline says:

    The concept of home is something most of us take for granted Not the existence of a home whether we have one or not, whether we re leaving it, setting up a new one, breaking one up, sharing it but the actual concept of a home as opposed to a house Home is somethingthan simply the place that you live or where you lay your head at night, as Judith Flanders describes it, the many ways of having a room of one s own, the possession of comfort, of nostalgia, of belonging, as well as The concept of home is something most of us take for granted Not the existence of a home whether we have one or not, whether we re leaving it, setting up a new one, breaking one up, sharing it but the actual concept of a home as opposed to a house Home is somethingthan simply the place that you live or where you lay your head at night, as Judith Flanders describes it, the many ways of having a room of one s own, the possession of comfort, of nostalgia, of belonging, as well as the possession of possessions Such a basic concept, we feel today, such an obvious concept, and yet for much of human history there was no such thing.And interestingly, not all languages make this distinction as Judith Flanders points out in this wide ranging romp over 500 years of home versus house Europe particularly can be divided into home countries versus house countries , and that split mirrors other interesting trends house countries tend to have warmer climates andof a tradition of communal living, life lived in public rather than private in house countries women married at a much younger age, with a far greater age gap between spouses, whereas home countries marriage wasa joining of equals in home countries partners would wait for marriage until they could afford their own home together, in house countries a home often housed many generations of a family, rather than a single couple.All of these factors, and many others, contributed to this concept of the home as somethingthan just a place of living Judith Flanders charts the change over 500 years from the very open communal living of great houses in the medieval era and the small hovels of the poorer folk whose homes very often were also their workplaces, all the way to the modern concept of a home as something insular and nurturing, a private space, with different rooms devoted to different tasks or functions or individuals And even on into modernism and post modernism, where function and efficiency has given way to style where the look is the thing, rather than whether an item of furniture or device is comfortable or practical Flanders also charts the development of possessions, of the items we fill our homes with, the symbols of wealth or position, the time saving devices, the way our rooms are laid out ergonomically I found this a really entertaining read,so than I expected At one point, when Flanders was recounting the history of curtains, for example, I even said out loud I couldn t believe how engrossed I was in the history of curtains Or the concept of invisible furniture items we know full well existed but are almost never mentioned in art or literature, like spittoons or spitting sheets a concept we can still see lingering on today in fashion magazines or architecture features where is the clutter where are the toothbrushes and dirty shoes by the door and the toilet brush by the toilet The real triumph of this book is take a concept most of us take so utterly for granted there s no place like home and shine the light of analysis on it and the results are surprisingly interesting


  7. TammyJo Eckhart TammyJo Eckhart says:

    While I am a historian, I am an ancient historian who has some knowledge of later periods so the opportunity to read and review this book through theVine program was welcomed As a married American woman who hopes her family house is also her family home, the subject matter intrigued me Judith Flanders primarily focuses on the five hundred year period from mid 15th to mid 20th century Western civilizations with rare comments that go back as far as the Roman world with mixed results S While I am a historian, I am an ancient historian who has some knowledge of later periods so the opportunity to read and review this book through theVine program was welcomed As a married American woman who hopes her family house is also her family home, the subject matter intrigued me Judith Flanders primarily focuses on the five hundred year period from mid 15th to mid 20th century Western civilizations with rare comments that go back as far as the Roman world with mixed results She attempts to differentiate between cultures that have separate words for house and home and while this is an interesting division I did not feel she fully provided such a linguistic divide equalled a true culturally different However, that difference does not impact the rest of the book very much because she then almost exclusively centers attention onto the two word cultures.Flander successfully argues that Home isthan building styles and land ownership though there is a great deal of that in this book Home includes ideas about place, about family, about society, and about the individual s relationship to these This includes not just buildings but what is placed in the building, where it is placed, how it is used, each family member s role in and outside of the house, and the various ways that society encourages acceptance of the norms even though these change quite a bit over the 500 years Flanders looks at I particularly enjoyed the trends in ideals that she traces and she clearly demonstrates how what is seen as natural or god given or healthy has radically shifted over five centuries I got an ARE of the book so I do not have any of the illustrations that I hope will have helped several of her points.The second half of the 20th and the current early 21st century received very little attention and this was very disappointing to me Yes, we are living now but as Flanders proved in the rest of the book, what we see as normal or desirable in home is often not recognized as different from the generations before us How does the open floor plan come about and how does it harken back to earlier ideas of home, challenge those ideas, or challenge modernism a development she spends several pages on at the end of the book Is current home a reflection of growing global awareness and less heterogeneous cultures What messages are we creating that try to overcome these greater social trends or encourage them These were all questions that I had that I really wish she spent at least a chapter on


  8. Eugenia Eugenia says:

    The book traces the evolution of European and American homes both physically and conceptually from 16th to 20th centuries The read is pretty fascinating, dense with details and I ve learned some interesting trivia facts, but at times, the book is didactic and dry I read it on Kindle, so the illustrations were separate from the text and you have to go back and forth to see that is described, which is irritating However, i think the book will benefit from havingillustrations to make it mo The book traces the evolution of European and American homes both physically and conceptually from 16th to 20th centuries The read is pretty fascinating, dense with details and I ve learned some interesting trivia facts, but at times, the book is didactic and dry I read it on Kindle, so the illustrations were separate from the text and you have to go back and forth to see that is described, which is irritating However, i think the book will benefit from havingillustrations to make itengaging for the reader, especially since it describes some architectural styles and goods that I ve never heard of, and it would be nice to see the pictures of what is described, instead of searching for it myself Overall, it sof an academic, but still interesting read about the development of physical and emotional attributes of a home


  9. Iulia Iulia says:

    Wonderful read, full of well researched facts and anecdotes My only disappointment was that only the USA and western Europe were treated as examples, whereas Eastern Europe would have been a useful example to use for some chapters Nonetheless, I understand that it s a huge task to document the entire planet about the notion of home and I respect that.


  10. Erin Erin says:

    Loved the topics, but really struggled to make it through this one The problem for me too much The scope covered too many centuries in too many countries and included so many factors of home There were many fascinating highlights, but the connective tissue was tough to chew.


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The Making of Home: The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Our Homes❰Read❯ ➮ The Making of Home: The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Our Homes Author Judith Flanders – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk The year story of how, and why, our homes have come to be what they are, from the bestselling author of The Victorian City and The Victorian HouseThe idea that home is a special place, a separate pla Theyear story of how, of Home: MOBI ñ and why, our homes have come to be what The Making MOBI :Ú they are, from the bestselling author of The Victorian City and The Victorian HouseThe Making of Home: Kindle Ø 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 her fascinating new book, home is a relatively new idea When inDorothy assured the citizens of Oz that There is no place like home , she was expressing a view that was the climax ofyears of change In The Making of Home, Flanders traces the evolution of the house from the sixteenth to the early twentieth century across northern Europe and America, and shows how the homes we know today bear only a faint resemblance to homes through history Along the way she investigates the development of ordinary household items from cutlery, chairs and curtains, to the fitted kitchen, plumbing and windows while also dismantling many domestic myths.


About the Author: Judith Flanders

Judith Flanders was born of Home: MOBI ñ in London, England, in She moved to Montreal, The Making MOBI :Ú Canada, when she was two, and spent her childhood there, apart from a year Making of Home: Kindle Ø in Israel in , where she signally failed to master HebrewAfter university, Judith returned to London and began working as an editor for various publishing houses After this year misstep, she began to write and in her first book, A Circle of Sisters, the biography of four Victorian sisters, was published to great acclaim, and nominated for the Guardian First Book Award In , The Victorian House in the USA, as Inside the Victorian Home received widespread praise, and was shortlisted for the British Book Awards History Book of the Year In Consuming Passions, was published Her most recent book, The Invention of Murder, was published in Judith also contributes articles, features and reviews for a number of newspapers and magazines.