Victorian Interior Decoration: American Interiors 1830-1900

Gail C. Winkler, Author, Roger W. Moss, With Henry Holt & Company $34.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0078-8
As an historical textbook, this work achieves what it sets out to accomplish: compile a mass of detailed information based on primary sources. But as a how-to guide, it is lacking. Information for homeowners is contained in a few sidebars, such as ""Wallpaper Selection Today,'' and presented in vague terms: ``Some companies do manufacture papers that reproduce designs used during the 19th century.'' The authors tell us how the Victorians chose to design their homes and the reasons for their various selections, but in such dry prose that it's difficult to imagine they are discussing an era known for its exciting diversity and burgeoning opulence. And despite abundant quotes from Godey's Lady's Book and other charming sources, this tome is boring. Victorian scholars may appreciate the book, but readers seeking to restore their homes should look elsewhere for practical advice. Winkler is a director of the National Preservation Institute and Moss is executive director of a research library specializing in19th century history. Illustrations.(November 7)
Reviewed on: 10/28/1986
Release date: 11/01/1986
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