It provides an interesting alternative viewpoint on the fragile Victorian lady – women’s health was generally poorer than men’s because of their poorer diet and lack of fresh air and exercise, but being a professional invalid definitely had its attractions for any woman who wanted to escape the Wanted dead or alive evil ten pin Bowling shirt round of service to others. This is a book I shall probably refer to again, and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in the domestic life of the period.
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At least one star is lost to the title alone. Why? Because it’s misleading. A more apt title might be “Women and the Victorian House” or even “The Wanted dead or alive evil ten pin Bowling shirt Woman.” Buried about twelve pages into the introduction is an admission that the presence of men will be glossed over to keep the book to a manageable size, but the book embarks upon too many tangents to make this claim credible. It seems pretty clear that the author set out to talk about Victorian women specifically and incidentally set the book in that place Victorian women spent the large majority of their time, the house.
As far as the conceit by which the book is organized- focusing on one room of the house for each chapter, this must be regarded as only a partial success. I saw one of my chief complaints reflected in another review: the Wanted dead or alive evil ten pin Bowling shirt on the parlor never (that I noticed) even mentions the parlor at all and is focused entirely on the subject of marriage. The reader is left wondering about the purpose and appearance of the room. Other chapters fare better but still have a tendency to stray from the room at hand. Some rooms are omitted altogether, though. The study is mentioned once or twice in passing but does not get a chapter of its own- presumably because this is the domain of the man.