The missing Amazon shipment finally came this week and I received my last two Christmas presents from my beloved. Two more great books I am so excited to read, and have already began reading each by reading their introductions.
The American Woman's Home by Catherine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe
Now THIS is a gem of a book. Stowe is best known for her abolitionist novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, but both Beecher sisters were active in their day for the advancement of education, especially for women and the underprivileged. The Beecher sisters believed that Women's work, and the domain of the household, was not only valuable, but holy and God-ordained industry that had never been valued equally with the industries of men. They sought to raise domestic sciences and arts to the level of other professions that either required or were aided by a degree, and this book was a text-book for women on all the practices of homemaking.
It is fantastic. The chapters are extesnive, on everything from food preparation, sewing, food preserving, financial management, etc. I am making notes and will give a proper review in good time.
Victorian London: the life of a city 1840-1870 by Liza Picard was another top-of-my-list book this year. I love cultural history, and Picard is known for her in-depth look at British life during different eras of history. She is wonderful with descriptions of what life was really like. As a history major in university I know all too well how many history books are often names, dates, locations of battles, etc. What's great about writers like Picard is that they really put flesh on the bones of history, and give you a glimpse not only into specific events in history but the lives of people who made those events happen. The first chapter is called "Smells", and is a fantastic, and horrifying, look at what London sewage and public hygene was like in the early part of the Victorian era. Other chapters are going to cover transportation, housing, governance, fashion, food, etc. Fascinating!