The parlour was the centre of the Victorian home and, as Thad Logan shows, the place where contemporary conflicts about domesticity and gender relations were frequently played out. In The Victorian Parlour: A Cultural Study, Logan uses an interdisciplinary approach that combines the perspectives of art history, social history and literary theory to describe and analyse the parlour as a cultural artefact. She offers a detailed investigation of specific objects in the parlour, and argues that these things articulated social meaning and could present symbolic resolutions to disturbances in the social field. The book concludes with a discussion of how representations of the parlour in literature and art reveal the pleasures and anxieties associated with Victorian domestic life.
Thad Logan is Lecturer in English and Humanities at Rice University. She has published on the Victorian parlour in The Journal of Narrative History, The Xavier Review, and in Keeping the Victorian House (ed. Vanessa Dickerson).