M's Reviews > Labours Lost: Domestic Service and the Making of Modern England

Labours Lost by Carolyn Steedman
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's review
Nov 16, 11

Read from November 06 to 16, 2011 — I own a copy

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11/08/2011 page 174
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message 1: by Felicity (new)

Felicity How was it? Interesting topic.

message 2: by M (last edited Nov 17, 2011 03:17PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

M It was good, but a bit academic. I mean that in the "I need to conceptualize a theory of the enactment of labor" kind of way. Amanda Vickery's Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England provided a better sense of how an 18th century household works (and how servants worked in them), but Steedman takes it to the next level and looks at legal ramifications and definitions of domestic service. Most interesting tidbit: domestic servants comprised the majority of waged labor in England in the 18th and early 19th centuries, but Adam Smith does not consider them as part of the capitalist economy, and Marx leaves them out entirely.

I'd recommend it; it's a good book of its type. If you haven't been reading a lot of academic books lately, I'd suggest reading Vickery first - it's a better transition book (and I think a better book in general).

message 3: by Felicity (new)

Felicity Thanks!

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