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4 June 2018
As readers of the Persephone Post know, we sell ‘the fifty books we wish we had published’ in the shop (the selection changes, though of course there are some staples like One Fine Day and The Tortoise and the Hare and Reunion). Recently we have had copies of A History of Women in 100 Objects by Maggie Andrews & Janis Lomas, this is fun book that would make a good present eg. for a teenage girl. Here are five of the objects, first of all Mrs Beeton: ‘It was more than a cookery book, transforming ideas about domestic life in a way few books have before or since, by laying down rules for the way things should be done in polite society.’ Mrs Beeton was followed by Fanny Cradock, Julia Child, Delia Smith, Nigella Lawson. Martha Stewart etc, all of whom ‘promoted idealised images of domesticity, unattainable versions of women as perfect homemakers.’ One might say that Persephone novels are the realistic view of this idealised version of domesticity.
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