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In the introduction to her long-awaited and extremely interesting study of the popular literature of Victorian interior decoration, Judith Neiswander prepares her readers – and perhaps to a certain extent herself – for their predicted negative reactions to the décor of the late 19th-century middle class home.
In the words of its author, this engaging book ‘tells of the shadows of objects and of images in the brain and, as such, of the only realities that cannot entirely escape from appropriation’ (p. ix). The object in question is Florence, understood both as a material place and as a mythical construction.
Throughout my reading of Professor Parry’s new book I was distracted by a low, angry, buzzing noise. On reflection, I realized it was the sound of Hugh Trevor-Roper spinning in his grave. The scale of the chasm between the two authors can scarcely be exaggerated.
Every picture tells a story. The story told by posed portraits of the family is one of change over time; family groups look different at different times. Thus the Victorian middle-class family is typically photographed in an indoor ‘domestic’ setting, its members unsmiling, connected to each other by the touch of a hand on a shoulder.
Textiles and dress occupy a central position within the realm of material culture. Apart from fulfilling the basic human need for clothing and protection, textiles play important political, economic, and religious functions.
Studies of the National Portrait Gallery have analysed its history as an institution, as an architectural space, or as instrumental in the development of portraiture (1).
In 1993 Amanda Vickery's now well-known historiographical review 'Golden Age to Separate Spheres?' provided an exhaustive survey of the interpretation of the position, identity and role of English women from the early modern to the Victorian periods.(1) It was a timely project in response the wealth of interest and research in that field over the previ
The main aim of this book (1) is to provide a social history of the religious architecture commissioned in the kingdom of Naples under three generations of French kings (from the conquest of Charles of Anjou in 1266 to the death of his grandson, Robert the Wise in 1343).
Kathryn Morrison’s task has been enormous: covering just about a thousand years of retail architecture, this work comprises a magnificent collection of visual material and concise history drawn from primary and secondary data.
Robert Hooke (1635–1703) is a pivotal figure in the intellectual life of seventeenth-century Europe. In the study to hand, Michael Cooper intends to ‘rectify some of the neglect and misunderstandings about Hooke by examining his work in London as City Surveyor after the Great Fire and relating this to his work in science’ (p. 2).