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The history of the home – with the spittoons put back in

A review of The Making of the Home, by Judith Flanders, and Common People, by Alison Light. Both books are absorbing but it’s Light’s history of subsistence living that I’ll want to read twice

25 October 2014

9:00 AM

25 October 2014

9:00 AM

The Making of Home Judith Flanders

Atlantic Books, pp.368, £20, ISBN: 9781848877986

Common People Alison Light

Penguin/ Fig Tree, pp.322, £20, ISBN: 9781905490387

In 1978, a family of Russian ‘Old Believers’ living in a supposedly uninhabited part of the Siberian taiga were discovered by a team of geologists. They had fled Stalinist persecution, and for half a century had lived in isolation in a ‘low, soot-blackened log kennel’ with a floor made of potato peelings and crushed nutshells, one tiny window, a fire, a single rushlight, and one item of furniture — an axe-hewn table.

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'The Making of Home' is available from the Spectator Bookshop, £18 Tel: 08430 600033 & 'Common people' is available from the Spectator Bookshop, £16.50 Tel: 08430 600033. Charlotte Moore is the author of Hancox: A House and a Family.

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