‘Home’ is more than a house. More than somewhere to sleep. But what makes a home? What is a family?
Flanders explores these issues and, as you’d imagine, many more in her exploration of homes in, mainly, Northern Europe (England and the Low Countries on the whole, with the US as they developed).
The reason for this tight focus is that, according to Flanders and her research, only the Germanic languages have a word for ‘home’ that is distinct from their word for ‘house’.
This is a fascinating read – with snippets art history added to the social history mix. It made me ponder what ‘home’ meant to me. What image did the word conjure in my mind. What pieces of furniture and bric-a-brac do I need to have in the places I live. As long as my bookcases fit, I’m happy.
For other explorations of ‘home’, try:
- Home: a time traveller's tales from British prehistory by Francis Pryor.
- At home: a short history of private life by Bill Bryson.
- For a different take on social history, try Noise by David Hendry. I recommended it a couple of years ago.
Title: The making of home.
Author: Judith Flanders.
Recommended by Annie C, Helensville Library.
Annie C is a voracious and versatile reader, but her habitual reads are fantasy, romance, and a diverse selection of non-fiction subjects.