Europe at Home: Family and Material Culture, 1500-1800

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9780300085426: Europe at Home: Family and Material Culture, 1500-1800
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If we could go back to earlier centuries and step inside any house in Europe, what kind of furnishings would we observe, what would be cooking in the pot, and what would the occupants be wearing and doing? These are some of the questions Raffaella Sarti takes up in this guide to European homes, families, and material possessions of the 16th to 19th centuries. The work traverses all of Europe and presents a detailed picture of daily reality for people at every economic level, from the ragged masses of the homeless to the privileged nobles who occupied grand villas and palaces. Personal stories bring each topic to life and offer insights into human relations not only between rich and poor, powerful and weak, masters and servants, but also between parents and children, husbands and wives, and men and women. The text provides answers the following questions: what did it mean to have a home and not to have one?; how was the creation of a new family funded?; who lived under the same roof?; how were buildings constructed? How was water supplied and what were toilets like?; how many people slept in a bed?; how did people behave at the table?; what clothing did they wear, and what did different articles of clothing mean? ; and how were objects and property used to define masculinity and femininity?

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From the Back Cover:

"Sarti deals with a subject of widespread curiosity: how people actually lived in the past. Hers is a wonderful book, tackling questions about housing, furnishings, food, dining, and clothes, and providing one fascinating discussion after another." -David Kertzer, Brown University

"Like a miracle, Raffaella Sarti brings our European ancestors to life." -Jacques le Goff

About the Author:

Raffaella Sarti teaches methodology of historical research at the University of Urbino, Italy, and is associate member of the Centre de Recherches Historiques of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris.

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9780300102598: Europe at Home

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ISBN 10:  0300102593 ISBN 13:  9780300102598
Publisher: Yale University Press, 2004
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