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The Promise of the SuburbsA Victorian History in Literature and Culture$
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Sarah Bilston

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300179330

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300179330.001.0001

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“Art at Home”

“Art at Home”

Women and the Suburban Interior

(p.74) Chapter 4 “Art at Home”
The Promise of the Suburbs

Sarah Bilston

Yale University Press

Later Victorian interior design manuals presented design as a way of rescuing home life and, by extension, society and the nation, from the forces of capitalism and commodity culture. They treat the suburban home, not as a terrible modern malaise, but rather the solution to a national problem, so long as a reading, thinking, and vigorously practicing female interior decorator is present to work, decorate, and design. A surprising number of texts argue explicitly that for women’s decorating to have its full moral and social regenerative effect, women need to become professional, paid interior designers.

Keywords:   Interior decoration, Aesthetics, Arts and Crafts, “Art at Home”, “Moral Influences of the Dwelling”, “Suburban Residences and How to Circumvent Them”, Queen Anne Revival, Professions, Taste

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