This volume brings together twelve studies centring on family and household. Its themes include values and morals regarding family life, the family's ties to the local community, the role of objects in the house and the social character of taste. The focus is on the Netherlands but countries such as Germany, France and England are drawn into the analysis. Moreover, the Dutch contributions have been written from a comparative perspective. In every article the tension between public and private domains, in its various manifestations, is a guiding theme. The articles, taken together, cast doubt on the traditional notions of an unlinear development from public to private institutions. The articles form a selection of the papers presented at a conference the editors organized in Rotterdam in November 1994. It served as the starting point for the programme on 'group cultures and life-style' of the N.W. Posthumus Institute, the Dutch Research School for socio-economic history.
Contents: ANTON SCHUURMAN/PIETER SPIERENBURG, Introduction: Between Public and Private I. The Family: HANS DE WAARDT, Feud and Atonement in Holland and Zeeland. From Private Vengeance to Reconciliation under State Supervision MANON VAN DER HEIJDEN, Secular and Ecclesiastical Marriage Control: Rotterdam, 1550-1700 RUDOLF DEKKER, Children On Their Own. Changing Relations in the Family. the Experiences of Dutch Autobiographers, Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries MAARTEN DUIJVENDAK, Elite Families Between Private and Public Life. Some Trends and Theses II. The Household and Consumption: KITTY DE LEEUW, Fashion, Clothing and Personality: Implacable Enemies or Inseparable Partners? Origin and Development of the 'Personality Cult' in Clothing in the Netherlands: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries THERA WIJSENBEEK-OLTHUIS, Noblesse Oblige. Material Culture of the Nobility in Holland HESTER C. DIBBITS, Between Society and Family Values. The Linen Cupboard in Early Modern Households MARJAN GROOT, Reflections on Everyday Taste. Furniture Shops, Department Stores and the Furnishing of the Home, 1895-1940 III. European Perspectives: BERND ROECK, Neighbourhoods and the Public in German Cities of the Early Modern Period. A Magician and the Neighourhood Network UTE FREVERT, The Middle Classes as Public and Private. Culture, Gender and Modernization in the Nineteenth Century JOAN PERKIN, Women, Marriage and Class in Nineteenth-Century England MARTINA SEGALEN, The House Between Private and Public: A Socio-Historical Overview