Wednesday, 14 September 2011

FACTUAL REVIEW: Doll's Houses - Halina Pasierbska

Release Date: 01/05/04


The earliest known dolls’ house was made in Bavaria in the mid-sixteenth century. Like most of those built in the following 250 years, it was designed not to be played with, but to be a perfect representation in miniature of a princely house, and to reflect the wealth of the owner. Although children began to play with dolls’ houses during the eighteenth century, they remained primarily made for adults. It was only in the nineteenth century that they finally also became children’s toys. This book outlines the history of these intriguing little buildings, with illustrations of some of the finest examples ever created.


Another little gem from the Shire Library that brings the history of this cultural icon to the modern reader from mention of one of the originals that was made for wealthy widow Princess Augusta Dorothea of Schwarzburg-Arnstadt around 1598 right through to modern interpretations such as those created for the modern doll Barbie.

What makes this title is Halina’s authoritive writing style demonstrating each of the changes through society as well as these modern gems that clearly give a wonderful view of life in yesteryear changing this humble children’s toy to a more adult collectable of today. Add to this a whole host of wonderful images to help back up her point of view (although I’d have liked some close ups of the artistry that goes into creating the furniture as well as other household items like knives, forks and food) and it was a wonderful read, even for an adult who doesn’t own one (yet.)

All in this is a magical title that will thrill and fascinate although hopefully in its next incarnation some of these extra’s will be added.

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