The Single Homemaker and Material Culture in the Long Eighteenth Century represents a new synthesis of gender history and material culture studies. It seeks to analyse the lives and cultural expression of single men and women from 1650 to 1850 within the main focus of domestic activity, the home. Whilst there is much scholarly interest in singleness and a raft of literature on the construction and apprehension of the home, no other book has sought to bring these discrete studies together. Similarly, scholarly work has been limited in evaluating gendered consumption practices during the long eighteenth century because of an emphasis on the homes of families. Analysing the practices of single people emphasises the differences, but also amplifies the similarities, in their strategies of domestic life.
'Domestic space is very much at the centre: the authors see the home, as many social historians are increasingly doing, as 'a cockpit wherein the cultures of consumption were defined and exercised'. We benefit enormously from their decision to consider single men and women together, which makes the comparative role of the account constantly illuminating.' History
Contents: Introduction; Being single; Singleness and homemaking: locating the single household; Organisation and management of a single household; Social and symbolic uses of the homes of single people; Compromised spaces: lodgers, boarders and shared domestic space; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.