The Nineteenth-century Home and its Alternatives

  • Lynn F. Pearson


Cooperative housekeeping was a system for improving the quality of home life, in which several households of one or more people combined to share the costs and labour involved in providing themselves with services such as cooking, laundry and cleaning. Households retained their individual homes and privacy, but ate some meals in a communal dining room and shared other communal facilities. Ideally, cooperative homes would be situated close together, and centred on a specially-built complex of buildings containing the dining room, central kitchen and common room. Cooperative housekeeping was possible for households with or without servants, but if servants were involved they would live in the central building rather than in their employers’ homes. The aim of the system was to allow households to combine resources to achieve economic and other domestic improvements, but it could be portrayed as the first step towards communal living and socialism, or as a purely economic measure.


Social History Domestic Work Communal Living Dine Room Domestic Life 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Burnett, John (1980), A Social History of Housing 1815–1970, Methuen, London, pp. 58–72.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Poor Law Commissioners (1842), Report on an Inquiry into the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain, HMSO, London, rep. with introduction by M. W. Flinn (1965), Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, p. 141. The report is known as the Chadwick Report.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    For discussion of the variety of house plans, see Muthesius, Stefan (1982), The English Terraced House, Yale University Press, New Haven, pp. 101–42. 8. Daunton, M. J. (1983), House and Home in the Victorian City, Edward Arnold, London, p. 12.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Davidson, Caroline (1982), A Woman’s Work is Never Done, Chatto and Windus, London, p. 133.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    Oakley, Ann (1976), Housewife, Penguin, Harmondsworth, pp. 34–47.Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    Evans, Tony and Green, Candida Lycett (1982), English Cottages, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London, p. 16.Google Scholar
  7. 15.
    Hardy, Dennis (1979), Alternative Communities in Nineteenth-century England, Longman, London.Google Scholar
  8. 17.
    Taylor, Barbara (1983), Eve and the New Jerusalem, Virago, London, pp. 37–8.Google Scholar
  9. 21.
    Darley, Gillian (1978), Villages of Vision, Granada, St Albans, p. 161; Combe, Abram (1825), The Sphere for Joint-stock Companies, with an Account of the Establishment at Orbiston, Mudie, Edinburgh, rep. Arno Press, NY, 1972, pp. 65–7;Google Scholar
  10. Cullen, Alexander (1910), Adventures in Socialism, John Smith, Glasgow, rep. Kelley, Clifton, New Jersey, 1972, pp. 226, 291–3; Taylor, Eve, p. 248; Hardy, Alternative Communities, pp. 36–7.Google Scholar
  11. 26.
    Thompson, Dorothy (1984), The Chartists, Temple Smith, London, p. 303.Google Scholar
  12. 28.
    Hadfield, Alice Mary (1970), The Chartist Land Company, David and Charles, Newton Abbot, p. 35.Google Scholar
  13. 31.
    Armytage, W. H. G. (1961), Heavens Below, RKP, London, p. 232.Google Scholar
  14. 34.
    Boyson, Rhodes (1970), The Ashworth Cotton Enterprise, Clarendon Press, Oxford; The Builder (1863), ‘Akroydon, Improved Dwellings for the Working Classes’, 14 Feb, vol. 21, no. 1045, pp. 109–17;Google Scholar
  15. Lever, W. L. (1902), ‘Dwellings Erected at Port Sunlight and Thornton Hough’, The Builder, 29 March, vol. 82, no. 3086, pp. 312–18;Google Scholar
  16. Harvey, W. Alexander (1906), The Model Village and its Cottages: Bournville, Batsford, London; Darley, Villages, pp. 129, 133–5, 137–45.Google Scholar
  17. 39.
    Pedley, Mrs (1867), Practical Housekeeping or the Duties of a Housewife, Routledge, London, p. 1;Google Scholar
  18. Caddy, Mrs Florence (1877), Household Organization, Chapman and Hall, London, p. 52; Oakley, Housewife, p. 49. See alsoGoogle Scholar
  19. Davidoff, Leonore, L’Esperance, Jean and Newby, Howard (1976), ‘Landscape with Figures: Home and Community in English Society’, pp. 139–75 in Juliet Mitchell and Ann Oakley (eds), The Rights and Wrongs of Women, Penguin, Harmondsworth, pp. 151–9.Google Scholar
  20. 40.
    Branca, Patricia (1975), Silent Sisterhood, Croom Helm, London, pp. 47, 54.Google Scholar
  21. 41.
    Pedley, Practical Housekeeping, p. 34; Davidoff, Leonore (1976), ‘The Rationalization of Housework’, pp. 121–51 in Diana Leonard Barker and Sheila Allen (eds), Dependence and Exploitation in Work and Marriage, Longman, London, see p. 137.Google Scholar
  22. 43.
    Burnett, A Social History, p. 206; Dixon, Roger and Muthesius, Stefan (1978), Victorian Architecture, Thames and Hudson, London, p. 69.Google Scholar
  23. 44.
    Burnett, A Social History, p. 206; Tarn, J. N. (1974), ‘Trench Flats for the English in Nineteenth-century London’, pp. 19–40 in Anthony Sutcliffe (ed.), Multi-storey Living, Croom Helm, London, see p. 22;Google Scholar
  24. Muthesius, Hermann (1979), The English House, Crosby Lockwood Staples, London, first pub. 1904, p. 144.Google Scholar
  25. 48.
    King, Anthony (1973), ‘Social Process and Urban Form: the Bungalow as an Indicator of Social Trends’, Architectural Association Quarterly, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 4–21, see p. 12.Google Scholar
  26. 49.
    For details of Bedford Park, see Bolsterli, Margaret Jones (1977), The Early Community at Bedford Park, RKP, London; Darley, Villages, pp. 117–21.Google Scholar
  27. 50.
    Marsh, Jan (1982), Back to the Land, Quartet, London, p. 173; Bolsterli, Early Community, pp. 12, 111.Google Scholar
  28. 51.
    For details of Whiteway, see Hardy, Alternative Communities, pp. 201–7; Marsh, Back, pp. 107–11; Shaw, Nellie (1935), Whiteway, a Colony on the Cotswolds, Daniel, London.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Lynn F. Pearson 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lynn F. Pearson
    • 1
  1. 1.Whitley BayUK

Personalised recommendations