BEDROOM: An Intimate History

Book number: 91325 Product format: Hardback Author: MICHELLE PERROT

In stock

Bibliophile price £1.50
Published price £20

The bedroom, or "chambre", is where life begins and ends, and this highly readable translation brings a prize-winning French social history to an English-speaking readership. The bedroom of the Sun King Louis XIV at Versailles was the epitome of magnificence, both as a theatrical setting in which visiting ambassadors had to stop at the edge of the carpet in front of the bed, and also as the altar on which the elevation of the monarch to quasi-divine status took place. His wives and mistresses were accorded sumptuous apartments nearby. For the aristocracy, separate rooms continued to be the norm, but for the bourgeoisie the conjugal bedroom became customary after 1840, following the unusual example of the uxorious Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert. Hygiene and safety were an issue even for wealthy couples, but the arrival of running water finally made the chamber pot redundant and electricity eliminated the hazard of candles. In total contrast, the 18th century poor might sleep on hay in large communal areas, often mingling with animals, or if there was a bed it would accommodate several people. No-one wants to live like this: the desire for personal space is universal and humanity has been ingenious in devising ways of achieving privacy for sleep, sex, sickness, prayer, meditation, reading and writing. Virginia Woolf summed it up in the title of her book A Room of One's Own. The author notes that preparing for sleep is hedged round with rituals, while the act of sleeping may invite nightmares and fantasies. For the insomniac, there are waking fears engendered by creaking floorboards or simple silence. Women's rooms, workers' rooms, hotel rooms, servants' rooms are considered alongside the whole range of life experience enclosed by the "chambre". 371pp.

Additional product information

ISBN 9780300167092

Customers who bought this product also bought

Book number: 91263 Product format: Paperback Author: JULIET NICOLSON
Bibliophile price £1.00
Published price £10.99
FEAR AND THE FREEDOM: How the Second World War Changed Us
Book number: 91345 Product format: Hardback Author: KEITH LOWE
Bibliophile price £1.88
Published price £25
Book number: 91389 Product format: Hardback Author: EDITED BY JANET BROWNE
Bibliophile price £1.50
Published price £22
A SCHEME OF HEAVEN: Astrology and the Birth of Science
Book number: 90884 Product format: Hardback Author: ALEXANDER BOXER
Bibliophile price £3.50
Published price £25
Book number: 91333 Product format: Hardback Author: TIM MURPHY
Bibliophile price £1.50
Published price $27
Book number: 91357 Product format: Hardback Author: RICHARD RHODES
Bibliophile price £1.75
Published price £20

Browse these categories as well: Lucky Dip Clearance, History