Chapter 4 examines department store retail in the second half of the
nineteenth century to understand how the interior decorating schemes
proposed on paper by the various professions discussed above could
materialize in the homes of middle-class consumers. In doing so, the chapter
argues that department stores were eager to align themselves with the
thriving market in artistic interior decoration designs, contributing to the
further popularization of this new art form. Through their full-scale model
rooms inside the store as much as through their widely distributed and
highly illustrated furniture catalogs, the Grands Magasins du Louvre, Au Bon
Marché, Le Printemps, Au Petit St.-Thomas, and the Grands Magasins Dufayel
brought the image of the most modern furniture and matching interiors to
life, right in front of customers’ eyes. By selling the same furniture
combinations and decorative schemes in a variety of materials, these stores
catered to several social groups at once. Further, by offering personalized
interior decorating services to those customers who wished to obtain an
exclusive décor, French department stores in the second half of the
nineteenth century became themselves early forerunners of the
twentieth-century profession of interior designer.
In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.