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A History of Everyday Things

A History of Everyday Things
The Birth of Consumption in France, 1600–1800


  • Date Published: March 2000
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521633598
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About the Authors
  • Things which we regard as the everyday objects of consumption (and hence re-purchase), and essential to any decent, civilised lifestyle, have not always been so: in former times, everyday objects would have passed from one generation to another, without anyone dreaming of acquiring new ones. How, therefore, have people in the modern world become 'prisoners of objects', as Rousseau put it? The celebrated French cultural historian Daniel Roche answers this fundamental question using insights from economics, politics, demography and geography, as well as his own extensive historical knowledge. Professor Roche places familiar objects and commodities - houses, clothes, water - in their wider historical and anthropological contexts, and explores the origins of some of the daily furnishings of modern life. A History of Everyday Things is a pioneering essay that sheds light on the origins of the consumer society and its social and political repercussions, and thereby the birth of the modern world.

    • A general overview of a fundamental subject
    • Covers the origins of the consumer society; essential for students of the social and cultural history of modern Europe
    • Translation of the work of a major French scholar
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… an excellent introduction to the cultural history that is being practised in France today.' The Times Literary Supplement

    '… this is an important contribution to a 'hot' topic.' History

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    Customer reviews

    08th Aug 2013 by Adam12345

    Excellent Book.

    Review was not posted due to profanity


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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2000
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521633598
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 239 x 146 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Production and Consumption:
    1. The natural framework and the human framework
    2. Towns, trade and inventions
    3. Ordinary consumption and luxury consumption
    Part II. Ordinary Life:
    4. Rural and urban housing
    5. Lighting and heating
    6. Water and its uses
    7. Furniture and objects
    8. Clothing and appearances
    9. Bread, wine, taste

  • Author

    Daniel Roche, University of Paris


    Brian Pearce

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