The Great Indoors: At home in the modern British house Hardcover – 2 Jan 2014
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Fascinating. A joyful portrait of how we live -- in all our eccentric glory. You'll never look at wallpaper in the same way again. (Matt Rudd)
The Great Indoors is an entertaining and welcome addition to a neglected field of social history. (Susan Flockhart Sunday Herald)
There is a great deal to be enjoyed in this book... a sprightly guide through the vicissitudes of the past 40 years in the British home. (Lucy Lethbridge The Observer 2014-01-05)
Brilliantly entertaining and rigorously researched book, Highmore explores our recent domestic past and asks what it says about the way we live now. (Kathryn Hughes Mail on Sunday 2014-01-05)
Thought-provoking little book. (Marcus Berkman Daily Mail 2014-01-09)
Entertaining and informative. (Alwyn Turner Daily Telegraph 2014-01-11)
Good solid stuff. (Rebecca Armstrong Independent on Sunday 2014-01-12)
The author... is a revelation. He is constantly informative, psychologically nuanced and charming. He's succeeded where so many others have failed. This is the book that amateur home anthropologists have been waiting for: a book that treats the evolution of home decoration and style with the ambition it deserves. (Alan de Botton The TImes 2014-01-11)
Highmore breezily picks our locks, throws open all our rooms, rifles through everything we've ever owned, and tells the story of our lives. (Iain Finlayson Saga 2014-02-01)
Highmore takes a captivatingly nosy look around the British home, exploring the roles played by such revolutionary instruments of social change as the duvet and the serving hatch. His range of reference is invigoratingly eclectic. (New Statesman 2014-03-06)
A field guide to the private life of the family home in the twentieth century: a social, cultural and personal history.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
As I have an interest in social history of this kind I must confess I have not learned very much from it that I didn't know, but I have found it has reinforced what I already knew or believed to be the case. Furthermore, it has been written in a very witty style - not that witty it would irritate, but in a pleasingly witty style that often brought a smile to my face. In fact, it reads as entertainingly as a novel. Highly recommended
"The Great Indoors: At Home in the Modern British House", really starts "modern" at the beginning of the 20th century. He examines how houses and their uses "evolved" with the addition of rooms. How were rooms used 100 years ago and how are they used nowadays? One of his most interesting points is the use of the duvet in British bedrooms. Originally imported from France, they were looked upon as "suspicious", until their sheer comfort and ease of use - no more top sheets and blankets to deal with - overcame fear of the "foreign". Now, almost 80% of British beds are made with duvets, rather than sheets and blankets. Highmore's fascinating book is filled with these details of how our modern lives have evolved within the four walls of our homes.
I also found his writing style to be annoying with the inclusion of too much padding and some unfunny little jokes.
But I will admit that even as an American (and over the age of 60), I found I was familiar with most of the contents of the book. I know why phones used to be in the hall, the effect of the decline of servants in the use of houses, changes in the child's bedroom from a place to sleep shared with siblings to a private bed-sit, the effect of demographic changes in the use of houses, and more. So if you have lived through all of this and aren't a fan of housing programs on TV, you may well be disappointed. But the book is a good read and I enjoyed it from start to finish so I gave it 4 stars with caveats.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this book is very informative although I found it a little heavy going at times.
A few more illustrations might have helped.
thought it would be a coffee table book with photographs showing th great indoors of previous decades, but it was like a school text bookPublished on 14 Mar. 2014 by wendy
I am interested in interior design and this book is very informative. I have enjoyed dipping into it. XX XX XXPublished on 16 Feb. 2014 by MRS J P SARGENT
I love reading about how we all used to live/eat/exist! and this book certainly describes how life was in the not so distant past. Great read.Published on 14 Feb. 2014 by sullyere
I started well and promised a good and entertaining read. However it then turned into a fairly boring socialogical textbook.Published on 14 Feb. 2014 by aeroroger
It is a wonderful cook . brought back my childhood . we have lived in my present house for 40 years and have only recently got rid of the Avacado bathroom suite which my husband... Read morePublished on 12 Feb. 2014 by noname
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