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The Gentle Art Of Domesticity

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  613 ratings  ·  149 reviews

Jane Brocket delights in domesticity. Lively, curious, and creative, she takes inspiration from her surroundings, from art, literature, and nature, and expresses her passion through the gentle arts of needlework, cooking, gardening, and homemaking—and now through her writing. In The Gentle Art of Domesticity Brocket celebrates everything that is, and can be, wonderful abou

Paperback, 288 pages
Published 2007 by Hodder & Stoughton
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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  613 ratings  ·  149 reviews

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How do I loathe this "book"? Let me count the ways:

1) Faux Book
It takes more than a cover and pages to make a book. This appears to be a printout of blogposts, without the interactivity of an actual blog and without the structure of an actual book. While there is a table of contents, and there are "chapters," this "book" has no real bones to it. There's no thesis the author develops and the chapters are thrown together.

2) Faux Feminism
Convincing your husband to do the "domesticated" tasks of, s
Dec 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks, crafts
An enormous, thoughtful, beautiful book, perfect for anyone with any leanings at all toward domesticity. Makes me yearn to spend my days reading Jane Eyre, baking bread and growing tomatos. This book makes me realize how many small simple ways there are to make my home life more special. I got my copy from Amazon UK (they have international shipping), not sure if it's available in the US yet.
Jan 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: someone who loves color and design
Recommended to JayeL by: Jane Brocket and MavAnna
Shelves: own
I bought this book after reading several critical reviews. I bought it because I love the photos and words on Brocket's blog. It is totally worth the price even if you never read the text.

I have devoured all of the pictures and slowly made my way through the text. Brocket is an excellent and thoughtful writer. There are so many good thoughts that the photos offer a welcome diversion to some of the text. Not in a bad way, but in a way that allows me to process the words.

The photos are similar to
Gina House
Sep 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys the arts of knitting, sewing, cooking and quilting.
Recommended to Gina by: Marion from Knitting
Only 2 books in my life have been put on the "LIFE BIBLE" shelf...not to have anything to do with religion, but because these books have changed my life in a great way somehow. This book is one of them. I savored every page, waiting for a time before bed when I could sip a cup of tea, snuggle under the sheets and read each page slowly and carefully. It not only inspired me, but brought me joy, laughter and a feeling of "yes, this is me". Truly, truly a remarkable and extremely enjoyable book. LO ...more
Apr 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010, non-fiction
The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket has been my morning coffee reading. Visually, it's a lovely book. I ordered it shortly after it was first published in the UK. At the time, it was not available in the U.S. and I had a copy shipped from London. It felt it was worth it, just for the illustrations.

Jane Brocket does have some charming thoughts about the domestic arts. However, this is not a perfect book. I have to agree with other reviewers who have remarked that the book reads too muc
Jane Brocket (she does the yarnstorm blog) is interested in ways that everyday life/domesticity can be made meaningful and beautiful. I support that project. The worst way to look at this book = rich woman who does not have to work spends far too much time playing with food color and writing poetically about cupcakes and paintings. A more charitable interpretation would include her thoughtful discussions of the value of making things, valuing one's living space and the way it looks/feels. At its ...more
Kathleen Roberts
Nov 14, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: crafters, designers, cooks
Recommended to Kathleen by: Bookshop Santa Cruz
This book is beautiful! You do have to love color, yarn, quilts and looking at neon-colored cupcakes, though. The writing is average, something many people might write in their diary. However, there is so much inspiration in here to remember the "gentle arts" that (mostly) women have performed though the centuries. It reminds us that in this overly technological wordl, we can still enjoy simple earthy pleasures together. Check out the pumpkin tea cosy!
Mar 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here are delicious photography, if over-sweet, and prose as familiar and comfortable as chocolate milk. Then, as I read, I started to wonder if the milk had gone off, because, well, I couldn't say why. On "the domestic library," she writes, "As I get older, I find I am happier to reread rather than spend (waste?) time with unknown and possibly disappointing books." Is that, I wonder, encouragement to enjoy another kind of pleasure or acknowledgement of an atrophied sense of adventure? She notes ...more
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010
I was rather disappointed by this book. I expected it to be something of a celebration of the beauty of home, but found it was very half-hearted in that. As long as something is inherently decorative and largely purposeless, Jane Brockett approves of it (for example, embroidery and making ridiculously over-decorated cakes). But she is very scathing and derisory about most of what I would term domestic arts, and regards things that are generally useful (for example, cooking dinners as opposed to ...more
Before I get started, the author kind of looked like Marie- only Marie is prettier and not an idiot.

Okay. I was so excited for this book to only find out that it was just a random mismatch of very unimportant information! Want to know what movies this author likes but have no importance to your life at all? Read this book! Want to look at somewhat cute cakes and kind of pretty knitted projects but not have a pattern/ recipe to learn how to make them? Read this book! It was kind of like a really
Apr 06, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't even make it past pg 15. I felt like I was reading slightly pretentious essays. I might not even mind reading slightly pretentious essays if they were at all inspiring, interesting, or thought provoking. But reading someone's (not so interesting) journal, that isn't especially entertaining or inspiring? No thanks.

I also didn't like how it jumped from one idea to another so quickly, although retrospectively I'm thinking it might be good bathroom reading. I guess if I owned the book I'd
Nov 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some books in the library you pick up and put down...interesting but not enough to check out.

Some books you check out from the library and return. That was nice. I enjoyed that book.

Some books you bring home and ...wait... this one is different. I need this one. This one has things in it that I will come back to and enjoy and use, such as lists or recipes.

This book is the last of the three. I smiled as I looked at the wonderful photographs. I wanted to copy down all the lists she had of favorite
Feb 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just picked this up on Valentines day whilst roaming the isles of B&N waiting for my kids to go to sleep. I love books/people/blogs/anything that elevates the art of domesticity. It's a fine line between sheer drudgery and taking pleasure in building your nest. Books like this one inspire and remind me to enjoy the journey. Also, she involves her kids in so many of the things she does. I am trying to be better at that.
Emily Davenport
This is such a delightful book. Brocket is a talented and engaging writer, and obviously a talented domestician. This is a book you actually want to *read* instead of just looking at the (adorable) pictures. I love how the topics are divided up, making the path to domesticity an achievable and enjoyable one. A must for anyone who enjoys the home arts. A wonderful source for books, movies, and travel ideas as well.
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: art-craft
Nice Pictures, intended more for inspiration than instruction, therefore inherently disappointing. I did get a little sick of pictures of color coordinated cupcakes. Am I just jealous? Do I want to stay home wearing birkinstocks (color coordinated) and baking cupcakes in a home-made apron? Knitting up a tea cozy while they bake? It's possible
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book. Jane has a lovely writing style, and writes on a great range of home-y topics. The accompanying images are bright and colourful, and sometimes I pick up the book just to appreciate the beauty of these pictures. The book isn't particularly instructive, but rather serves to inspire you to be busy and creative in your own home, to make it lovely.
May 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
LOTS in this book and a must for any crafter or person who enjoys the comforts of home. I picked it up at the library today and will enjoy pouring over it the next three weeks while I have it checked out but think I need to have my own copy. There is so much in it to embrace the wonderfulness of home and the comforts of the soul in it.

Sheila Chew
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I have read it cover to cover, but the joy for me is just picking it up and reading bits here and there, and looking at the pictures. I want to live in this book, knitting and baking and eating rock buns with tea.
Nov 13, 2008 rated it liked it
I want to quilt...This book is a terrible indulgence; it's impossible to do anything but bake or desire better sewing/knitting skills. I both like and loathe the lack of patterns.
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant, just Brilliant. I wish I had an iota of Jane Brocket's creativity. This is a lovely, dreamy book, perfect for a lazy day with a cup of tea.
Apr 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
dipping into now and then, and really enjoying it
Sep 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book slowly; savor it. It's really lovely.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: homemaking
I read this book for the first time when it was first available in the U.S., probably seven or eight years ago. I remember spending hours with it, sitting on my front porch, through the warmer weather months, and I remember liking it. I pulled it off the shelf this year for a second reading, and it did not disappoint! The book explores all aspects of household life, from a distinctly feminine point of view, and explores the artful side of homemaking, referring to the disciplines involved as "dom ...more
A bit of humour, a lot of homemaking inspiration and several movie references to movies starring one of my favourite actors. It's not what I originally thought it would be, but I found out some interesting things - like how feminism in the 1970's and early 1980's made it seem like a bad thing to learn the gentle arts - embroidery, knitting, crochet, baking and a bunch of other things that every one was taught by their mothers and grandmothers. So now we have a whole generation of women who don't ...more
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely beautiful to flip through. Like a confection. The writing was fine, but felt more like blog posts without any particular flow to it. This would be a beautiful book to have out on a coffee table for people to just flip through and enjoy
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-challenge
Adorable reminders of how the simple things make all the difference.
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: housekeeping
Pretty book but it is largely yarn yarn yarn crafts which I don't have an interest in. If you knit, then this is your book.
Jenn Mckague
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Beautiful pictures but otherwise lacks substance. Reviews presented as almost a "how-to", sorely disappointed for this reason.
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Honestly, I went into this book thinking, I’m not gonna like it. I don’t think of myself as a super feminista, but, hey, I’m a lawyer and before that I was an “engineer” (yeah, I never could seriously take that playing on a computer is “engineer”-like). So I’m used to playing in the man’s world. And all about woman-power in that world. In fact, no one was more shocked than I when 1) I succeeded when I taught myself to crochet (have I mentioned how that came about? mental note: story on how I got ...more
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
I bought this book in a moment of weakness, basking in the "I have a full-time job again" glow. How could I not? The cover is mostly pink and features thread, yarn, cookies, flowers, fabric... in other words, more than a few of my favorite things. (Note: the photo here is from the UK edition, I think.) I'm a sucker for attractive books and as a lover of things domestic (except cleaning), I responded to this tome's siren call.

As I climbed into the book, I learned that Jane Brocket has a domestica
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[From the author's website:]

My first book The Gentle Art of Domesticity was published by Hodder & Stoughton in October 2007. My second book Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer was published by Hodder & Stoughton in July 2008 and my third book with Hodder Ripping Things to Do was published in July 2009. September 2008 saw the publication in the USA of The Gentle Art of Domesticity by STC Crafts/Mel