Boardinghouse in Nineteenth-Century America

ISBN-10: 080188571X
ISBN-13: 9780801885716
Edition: 2007
Authors: Wendy Gamber
List price: $50.00
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Description: In nineteenth-century America, the bourgeois home epitomized family, morality, and virtue. But this era also witnessed massive urban growth and the acceptance of the market as the overarching model for economic relations. A rapidly changing  More...

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Book details

List price: $50.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 4/9/2007
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 232
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

In nineteenth-century America, the bourgeois home epitomized family, morality, and virtue. But this era also witnessed massive urban growth and the acceptance of the market as the overarching model for economic relations. A rapidly changing environment bred the antithesis of "home": the urban boardinghouse. In this groundbreaking study, Wendy Gamber explores the experiences of the numerous people -- old and young, married and single, rich and poor -- who made boardinghouses their homes. Gamber contends that the very existence of the boardinghouse helped create the domestic ideal of the single family home. Where the home was private, the boardinghouse theoretically was public. If homes nurtured virtue, boardinghouses supposedly bred vice. Focusing on the larger cultural meanings and the commonplace realities of women's work, she examines how the houses were run, the landladies who operated them, and the day-to-day considerations of food, cleanliness, and petty crime. From ravenous bedbugs to penny-pinching landladies, from disreputable housemates to "boarder's beef," Gamber illuminates the annoyances -- and the satisfactions -- of nineteenth-century boarding life.

Introduction : houses and homes
Away from home
Keeping house
"The most cruel and thankless way a woman can earn her living"
Boarders' beefs
Nests of crime and dens of vice
"Will they board, or keep house?"
Charity begins at home
Epilogue : "decay of the boarding-house"

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