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Episode 18 of 30

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 21 October 2009

Historian Amanda Vickery presents a series which reveals the hidden history of home over 400 years. She draws on first-hand accounts from letters and diaries, many of which have never been heard before. Including songs which have been specially recorded for the series.

When we think of the history of home, the cosy experiences of the nuclear family spring easiest to mind. But what of those who had no family or home of their own?

Probably as many as one in five women never married in 18th-century England. What about their story? What did the comforts of home mean for them? Prof Vickery tells the story of one admirable and disabled spinster, whose letters she discovered in a record office in Reading.

Readers: Deborah Findlay, John Sessions, Madeleine Brolly and Simon Tcherniak.

Singers: Gwyneth Herbert and Thomas Guthrie, with David Owen Norris at the keyboard.

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.


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