Miranda Seymour

Lares Et Penates

Household Gods: The British and Their Possessions

By

Yale University Press 336pp £25 order from our bookshop

‘No nation has identified itself more with the house,’ a German visitor remarked of earlier twentieth-century Britain. Looking from the outside, this comment would seem only to apply to the lucky handful of people who have the money, and the requisite number of acres, to indulge their taste for idiosyncratic magnificence. Deborah Cohen’s book looks in another, and more rewarding, direction. It isn’t the splendours of aristocratic collections that interest her, but the rise of the middle class and, much slower, that of home-ownership. 

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