Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$12.45
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: (Hardcover) This book shows minor wear and tear.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

A 1950s Housewife: Marriage and Homemaking in the 1950s Hardcover – January 1, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$107.11 $8.47

"Family Business: Innovative On-Site Child Care Since 1983"
This visual guide illustrates why providing high quality on-site child care to working families is essential. Learn more
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sheila Hardy was a homemaker before becoming a full-time writer. She has written several biographies of notable women, including An Admirable Wife and The Real Mrs Beeton.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (January 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752469894
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752469898
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,328,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
More than just a peek at the life of a mid-20th century housewife's life, this book provides plenty of insight into life in general throughout the 1950s. Though it focuses on life in England after WWII and through to the 60s, much of what Sheila Hardy reveals was true of life in the U.S.A. The difference comes in the period immediately following the end of the war, when the British faced rebuilding parts of their cities and their industries.

You'll find a nearly complete social history here: dating, marriage, setting up a household, the daily routine of life, how a housewife spent her day, how she existed without conveniences we take for granted today, shopping and style, leisure activities, health and beauty, the status of women, and more.

Hardy writes with humor, mimicking, in many cases, the astonishment 50s women might display at certain aspects of 21st century life. Take hosiery, for example: "The idea that one day she would be pulling on an all-in-one nylon garment that resembled a pair of elongated, shapeless bags grafted on to a larger one that came up to her waist would have been quite incomprehensible as well as seen as totally unhygienic."

In many cases, much of what women had to put up with no longer exists. Among these trials are the chimney sweep. In England, people burned coal in fireplaces before the general adoption of central electric heating. At the end of winter, the housewife would prepare for the annual call of the sweep. "To start with the sweep always announced he would arrive early so arrangements had to be made to get breakfast over and done with before he came.
Read more ›
Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. The transaction was smooth and the product was as advertised. Only thing I would add is that this book is about 1950s wives in Great Britain, not America. This actually turned out to be a good thing because I was able to see how different life was for families in Great Britain during and after the War, how much better off it was in America, how much more freedom from the Government there was. A very revealing discourse.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was such a nice book to read. I've always been obsessed with the 1950s and after having taken so many classes that focus on women's history, I wanted a light and happier read. This definitely fit the bill! It was accurate, informative, and kept me interested. I wish it would have provided more of a 'day in the life' feel, but that's just because of my own personal interest in history (I like history to be as personal as possible!)

This taught me a lot and gave me some nice conversation starters for my grandma who remembered some of the things in this book as experience in her own life (such as, being a young newly wed, she knew she'd be responsible for making curtains, table cloths, etc, rather than buying them...)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book interesting from how different things are today. I gave it 3 stars because it focused more on the married working woman. There was very little information on her daily routine. The first 2 chapters are about the 1950's girl courting and planning her wedding. The book description states that there are recipes, maybe in the hardback but not the Kindle version.

The book was an enjoyable read and slightly humorous, but not great.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love any account of the past and hers is perfect because its stories from people who lived it not just researched it. I can't wait to read her other books.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First and foremost, if you are an American Housewife interested in American Culture, dating, and related topics involving this era? I am afraid to say that this book probably won't entirely be what you are looking for. It is ultimately useless to the woman looking for education on the culture and customs of that era in our own country. The book is certainly not completely useless, however, especially if you have a tendency to consume anything and everything about that era regardless of its country of origin... But it is still written from a British standpoint, and while it alludes to America’s state in some portions many things were not the same across the ocean.

That being said, I do thoroughly enjoy the fact that this book covers more than just the Housewife herself. It covers everything; juxtaposing pre war culture against in war culture and even post war culture. As a result, the book gives you a miraculously detailed idea of how society was affected by and functioned in all areas of life which spanned the course of our favorite vintage era.

One of the greatest things about this book, though, is that it was written not by Historians, but by someone who lived through it first hand; the author uses not only her first hand accounts and experiences to illustrate their everyday life, but also the stories and experiences of other women who also lived through it as well. This gives you a marvelous peek into the authentic- not speculative or romanticized- life of a 1950′s Housewife in Britain. Even if it is not oriented on American culture, it is still truly is a breathtaking historical account for someone interested in the early 1940′s to the mid 1960′s.

The only issue I really had with the book was that I did find it oddly structured.
Read more ›
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse