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8 February 2021
The V & A, our favourite museum, sent an email with images of domesticity. But they didn't use that word, they simply put: 'Spending Time at Home: As we continue to spend time at home, here are some images and ideas to inspire your creativity.' Delightful as the images are, and we are having five of them on the Post this week, we would have loved the V & A to get a curator to write a piece about the imagery of domesticity and the home, the way Modernism disliked it (cf. the book by Christopher Reed) and why 'spending time at home' is flagged up as something unusual when of course The Home is a crucial, primeval, vital element in everyone's life and worthy of far more abstract/philosophical discussion than simply mentioned as somewhere where we are all 'spending time'. Yet it's the reason Dorothy Whipple is reviled by feminists; it's the reason women writers are not just 'writers'; and then there is 'domestic feminism' which, as readers of the Post will know, we would be writing a book about if, well, if we weren't doing other things. And maybe, just maybe, someone will one day be allowed to write a PhD which isn't about the acceptable writers (Virginia Woolf, Rose Macaulay, Storm Jameson, Dawn Powell) but about the unacceptable (Dorothy Whipple, Susan Glaspell, Marghanita Laski, Rose Allatini). And what is the difference between the two groups? It is summed up in the one word Home. This is a 1785 sampler by Elizabeth Brain, it's wool embroidered with silk.
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