This charming book portrays domestic life in New England during the century between the American Revolution and the Civil War. Drawing on diaries, letters, wills, newspapers, and other sources, Jane C. Nylander provides intimate details about preparing dinner, spinning and weaving textiles, washing and ironing laundry, planning a social outing, and exchanging food and services. Probing behind the many myths that have grown up about this era, Nylander reveals the complex reality of everyday life in old New England.
"Nylander . . . invites her readers to enjoy her copious knowledge of the interiors and domestic management of late-18th-century New England homes. The imaginatively illustrated [book] is dedicated to the notion that the details of everyday life form the core of human experience."—Martha Saxton, The New York Times Book Review
A fact-filled, copiously illustrated, revealing survey of Yankee life and households in an earlier time, . . . informative and valuable for its many glimpses of American interiors."—Kirkus Reviews
"A delightfully intimate portrayal of New England home life. . . . Enlivened by 162 period illustrations, [Nylander’s] survey affords a rare glimpse of middle- and upper-class housework, clothing, kitchens, diet, socializing and much else."—Publishers Weekly
A century-long portrait of day-to-day activities in a New England home. . . . Nylander’s nitty-gritty approach is absorbing. . . . Photographs from various historical societies along with period sketches and paintings add pizzazz and authenticity."—Booklist
"A visual and narrative feast."—Robert St. George, University of Pennsylvania