A 1950s Housewife by Sheila Hardy

A 1950s Housewife by Sheila Hardy

Being a housewife in the 1950s was quite a different experience to today. After the independence of the wartime years, women had to leave their jobs when they married and support their husband by creating a spotless home, delicious meals and an inviting bedroom. A 1950s Housewife collects heart-warming personal anecdotes from women who embarked on married life during this fascinating post-war period, providing a trip down memory lane for any wife or child of the 1950s. This book will prove an eye-opener for those who now wish they had listened when their mothers attempted to tell them stories of the ‘old days’, and will provide useful first-hand accounts for those with a love of all things kitsch and vintage. From ingenious cleaning tips, ration-book recipes and home decor inspiration, the homemaking methods of the fifties give an entertaining and poignant insight into the lives of 1950s women.

A 1950s Housewife by Sheila Hardy

What an interesting, comprehensive book this is!

Do not be fooled by the oh-so cutesy packaging; this isn’t one of those lifestyle guides conservative ladies pass around during Bible study. What it is is a spectacularly well-researched, extremely detailed look at life in 1950s England. That is life in general, though there is an emphasis on the life of young women just getting started in their marriages.

Based on many personal accounts from volunteer contributors, the author has constructed a fascinating book that doesn’t paint anything perfectly or otherwise. You’ll hear as much about the hardships as the parts everyone likes to reminisce about. The detail that might become tedious in lesser hands is engrossing here. You’ll know how much things cost and who could afford them, the different things people did for fun, the different modes of transportation, the food that was eaten. The details on housework are terrifying. Even though I’ve heard many stories from family members, seeing it all put together in this book adds up to an exhausting explanation as to why there wasn’t an obesity problem in the 1950s!

A 1950s Housewife makes me think the British had it harder in the 1950s than the average Australian or American, thanks to the Second World War.

This is an eye-opener for anyone who tends to be delusional about “how much better” things were in the past, and is a book I’d highly recommend for anyone with an interest in this era.

One thought on “A 1950s Housewife by Sheila Hardy

  1. Pingback: The Week: 10th – 16th February | Sonya's Stuff

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