Top critical review
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well researched, BUT
on 14 June 2010
This is an obviously well researched book, with Vickery pulling from many different sources. However, with many repetitions of statements already made (often in the same chapter), it seems the book could have been almost half its size. The chapters themselves also seem to deal with very much the same subject in households, namely, the difference and relationship between men and women. Fair enough, but not as varied as the description of the book would have you believe.
There are also statements of the blindingly obvious, such as- when someone wipes faeces on your front door, it is a statement of their personal dislike of you....Wow. You don't say. Another gem was 'kitchens represented not just a special room for the business of cooking, but also a space for storing the expanding battery of equipment employed for processing food and drink.' Right-not the most informative of sentences, but admittedly true- still, not really restricted to the 18th and 19th century's.
I personally think the author made more of an effort to sound intellectual rather than impart actual knowledge deserving of a book of this size. I learnt, but not as much as I hoped to, and the book was therefore a bit of a struggle to read- waiting for the repetition and obvious statements to end, and for the learning to begin.