By deftly weaving together anthropological, historical and materialist perspectives, The Wedding Present is itself a gift to a new interdisciplinary marriage. It is beautifully written, sympathetic, and critically astute. Louise Purbrick has given us a wonderful, moving and important book.' Ben Highmore, University of the West of England, UK'Meticulously researched and richly detailed, this book offers unique and original insight into the consumption of everyday objects and designs in the British home. Incorporating especially commissioned primary research from the Mass Observation Archive regarding the gifting practices around marriage, The Wedding Present makes a key multi-disciplinary contribution to the history and anthropology of material culture.' Alison Clarke, University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria'I warmly recommend this book to anthropologists interested in contemporary material culture, for its novel materials collected in a systematic way and especially for its diachronic dimension.'The Australian Journal of Anthropology'...The Wedding Present interrupts, pleasantly and substantively, our thinking about consumption and asks that we consider anewour assumptions of consumers and things.'Journal of Design History'Louise Purbrick has undertaken an informative study in material culture of wedding gift giving and receiving among Britons from 1945-2003... Purbrick does a fine job of mining written responses to assess self-described "ordinary people's" (14) experiences and interpretations of marital gifts and gift exchanges. Purbrick's extensive use if respondents first-person voices lends authenticity to her account of the wedding gift exchange as a complex social, contextual, and personal reality.' INTAMS
In this fascinating work, Louise Purbrick offers an alternative analysis of contemporary domestic consumption. She investigates the ritualized presentation of objects upon marriage, and their subsequent cycles of exchange within the domestic sphere. Presenting new material on the enactment of exchange relationships within everyday domesticity, The Wedding Present makes significant historical, theoretical and methodological contributions to the analysis of contemporary consumption.