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The Victorian Home by Kathryn Ferry

Thanks to the Industrial Revolution Victorian homes were full of stuff. It might look like clutter to us but as more people joined the burgeoning middle class, purchasing decisions became increasingly important as indicators of status and taste. My Shire book on The Victorian Home looks at how middle class houses changed during the long reign of Queen Victoria, exploring the social history of how rooms were used and the developments in style that influenced the look of exterior and interior design. A must for anyone who lives in a Victorian house...

‘ must still have been a tall order to cover such a vast subject in a hundred or so pages. Fortunately, Ferry has an enviable grasp of the big picture, which she illustrates throughout with details likely to be new to most readers.’ Read the full review at Victorian Web

In November 2014 I was a keynote speaker at Victorians Like Us, an international conference organised by the University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.

My article on 'Clutter and the clash of middle class tastes in the domestic interior' is due to be published in the conference proceedings soon.

Powerhouses of Provincial Architecture
After completing my PhD I worked for The Victorian Society, the national charity campaigning for Victorian and Edwardian architecture. In my capacity as Senior Architectural Adviser I lobbied to stop demolition of the former London Metropole Hotel on Northumberland Avenue (since returned to hotel use as the luxury Corinthia Hotel), drew attention to the plight of Victorian schools around the country threatened with wholesale demolition as a result of government policy, and campaigned for Undershaw, the home designed for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at Hindhead in Surrey, where The Hound of the Baskervilles was penned in 1902.

As a member of the Society’s Events Committee I organised visits to buildings of interest and also arranged several study days, the papers from one of which, I edited for publication in 2009. The articles in Powerhouses of Provincial Architecture 1837-1914 include: Dr Geoff Brandwood on the evidence for architectural practices outside London and the churches of Paley and Austin; Dr Sarah Whittingham on Sir George Oatley of Bristol and my study of J W Cockrill in Great Yarmouth. The book is available direct from The Victorian Society.