It's a good book, but it's not my Typee...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Age of Comfort

The Age of Comfort by Joan DeJean is packed with information about the place where surroundings and intellect intersect. DeJean takes the reader on a tour of French history by way of its furniture.

Does comfortable furniture make a man more civilized? The French certainly thought so; and most of Europe agreed with them during the 1700s, a time when everyone but the English wanted to be as French as possible. Does indoor plumbing affect a person's mental state? Undoubtedly. These questions arise as we see the change in the way people express themselves and even view their own bodies depending on the furniture they sit on.

Occasionally dry, but unfailingly interesting, The Age of Comfort is a treat.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Michael S. Hart, creator of Project Gutenberg

Click here for the obituary of Michael S. Hart, creator of This site is one of my favorites as it provides free ebooks.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Reading as leisure

According to The Age of Comfort by Joan DeJean, reading was not something people did for enjoyment until comfortable furniture was invented. Once there was upholstered furniture large enough for people to stretch out on, they grabbed their books and letters and began to read them for pleasure, not just for the purposes of study or business. This change began in France around 1700 and is one of the many ways furniture affects our life.

If you have any interest in France, the modern home, and the way our surroundings affect us, I recommend The Age of Comfort.