Household inventories re-assessed: a “new” source for investigating nineteenth-century domestic culture in England and Wales

Lesley Hoskins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contrary to previous belief, there are substantial numbers of household inventories for nineteenth-century England and Wales. This article discusses what, and how, this ‘new’ source can add to our understanding of the domestic cultures of the period. It describes how a material-culture approach, employed in both aggregate and interpretive analysis, not only offers, for the first time, empirical evidence for patterns of ownership and usage of space but also suggests lively stories of agency, choice and change in the domestic arena.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-352
JournalHome Cultures
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Household inventories; nineteenth-century domestic cultures; material culture; interpretation; aggregate analysis; agency; ownership patterns

Cite this