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The Victorian Parlour
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  • 41 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 304 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.62 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 820.9/355
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: PR468.H63 L64 2001
  • LC Subject headings:
    • English literature--19th century--History and criticism
    • Home in literature
    • Literature and society--Great Britain--History--19th century
    • House furnishings--Great Britain--History--19th century
    • Living rooms--Great Britain--History--19th century

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521631822 | ISBN-10: 0521631823)

The parlour was the centre of the Victorian home and, as Thad Logan shows, the place where contemporary conflicts about domesticity and gender relations were frequently played out. In The Victorian Parlour: A Cultural Study, Logan uses an interdisciplinary approach that combines the perspectives of art history, social history and literary theory to describe and analyse the parlour as a cultural artefact. She offers a detailed investigation of specific objects in the parlour, and argues that these things articulated social meaning and could present symbolic resolutions to disturbances in the social field. The book concludes with a discussion of how representations of the parlour in literature and art reveal the pleasures and anxieties associated with Victorian domestic life.

• Lavishly illustrated with images of the Victorian parlour, and with contemporary catalogue pages of items for the Victorian home • This study constructs a reading of the parlour as a cultural site reflecting larger-scale trends in Victorian society • Logan maps nineteenth-century debates about decoration and design onto the ideology of domesticity and the construction of femininity


List of illustrations; Preface; Acknowledgments; 1. House and home: the parlour in context; 2. 'Sweet ordering, arrangement, and decision': decorating the parlour; 3. An empire of things: objects in the parlour; 4. 'Intimate glimpses of home': representations of the parlour; Afterword; Notes; Bibliography; Index.


'… a refreshing change from standard histories of design … a richly detailed account … Historians who are grappling with the evidentiary problems that material culture poses will find The Victorian Parlour a stimulating example. Her critique of Veblen's theory of social emulation is excellent, her comments about Susan Stewart's On Longing are insightful … a number of tantalizing observations … The Victorian Parlour makes for fascinating reading …' Historical Journal

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