Keeping Hearth & Home in Old Massachusetts: A Practical Primer for Everyday Living

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9780897324083: Keeping Hearth & Home in Old Massachusetts: A Practical Primer for Everyday Living

Keeping Hearth & Home in Old Massachusetts is a "how-to" book, but not for you. Drawn from a wealth of authentic Victorian-era books and magazines, it is like the book your great- or great-great grandmother might have read at age 17 to prepare herself for the etiquette of courting, to learn how to conduct herself in public, and to learn what would be required of her during marriage. Later, she might have read the same book through all over again, for ideas about how to arrange the parlor and how to direct her children's playtime. So welcome to the family household in old Massachusetts. Come indoors, pull up a fireside rocker, and discover how the everyday rituals of a bustling nineteenth-century home can bring history to life more vividly than ever.

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About the Author:

Carol Padgett's fascination with how folks live was seeded in childhood elder-lore, blossomed into a psychotherapy practice, and now bears fruit in her work with the dying.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

A single bed is always to be preferred, both for married and unmarried people. Where two persons sleep in the same bed, the one who has the stronger physical power is likely to absorb the vital forces from the weaker one. Where either is afflicted with any tendency to consumption, has any skin disease, or other malady, he is likely to impart its evil influences, if not its actual contagion, to the person who shares his bed with him. If possible the sleeping-room should always be exposed to the sunlight. The apartment should be thoroughly ventilated during the day, and there should be an ample supply of fresh air throughout the entire night.

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