Country houses were grand statements of power and status, but they were also places where people lived. This book traces the changes in layout, the new technologies, and the innovations in furniture that made them more convenient and comfortable. It argues that these material changes were just one aspect of comfort in the country house: feeling comfortable was just as important as being comfortable. Achieving this involved the comfort and solace to be found in daily routines, religious faith and, above all, relationships with family and friends. Such emotional comforts, and the attachment to things and places that embodied and memorialized them, made country houses into homes.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Physical and Social Comfort: The Materiality of the Country House
1. Convenience and Privacy: The Architecture of Comfort
2. Warmth and Light: Technologies of Comfort
3. Comfortable Rooms: Sociability and the "Modern Living Room"
Part 2: Emotional Comfort: Feelings, Letters and Home
4. Cleanliness and Godliness: Comforts of the Body and Mind
5. Family and Friends: Comfort, Consolation and Correspondence
6. Home Comforts: Objects and Memories
Conclusions: House and Home
Jon Stobart is Professor of History at Manchester Metropolitan University.