Comfort in the Eighteenth-Century Country House  book cover
1st Edition

Comfort in the Eighteenth-Century Country House

ISBN 9781032072913
Published September 22, 2021 by Routledge
320 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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

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Jon Stobart is Professor of History at Manchester Metropolitan University.