The winner of France's prestigious Prix Femina Essai (2009), this imaginative and captivating book explores the many dimensions of the room in which we spend so much of our lives-the bedroom. Eminent cultural historian Michelle Perrot traces the evolution of the bedroom from the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans to today, examining its myriad forms and functions, from royal king's chamber to child's sleeping quarters to lovers' trysting place to monk's cell. The history of women, so eager for a room of their own, and that of prisons, where the principal cause of suffering is the lack of privacy, is interwoven with a reflection on secrecy, walls, and the night and its mysteries.
Drawing from a wide range of sources, including architectural and design treatises, private journals, novels, memoirs, and correspondences, Perrot's engaging book follows the many roads that lead to the bedroom-birth, sex, illness, death-in its endeavor to expose the most intimate, nocturnal side of human history.
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