Friday, May 29, 2009


Yesterday Ann o'Dyne sent me to Scott's Abode where there are great scans from the wonderful Newnes Home Management on display.

I have these treasured volumes in my collection, and they (and a couple of other examples of the genre) formed the basis of a play I wrote years ago.

Coincidentally, there was a scene involving a concrete garden stork...


Dick said...

Jesus, this book haunted my childhood! The hideous vérité photos depicting the domestic environment as fraught with perils. I can remember documentary-style nightmares in which my mother combusted in front of the sitting room fire while I melted my face with carefully sited saucepans of boiling water.

The horror, the horror! Nurse, the screens..!

boynton said...


Indeed, it was the gothic domestic horror that appealed to me - and to my fellow theatre creators when we pored over the book in workshops.
As I recall, there is a page entitled "Successful Home Dying" (sic) which summed it up really, the horror.
I'll look about the net and, if nothing turns up, I'll scan that page for you.

scottsabode said...

I am fascinated - I'd love to know more about your play!

boynton said...

Hi Scott, it's great to see NHM blogged.
It was an episodic play that used images (from Newnes and other books) with a story about ... a woman and her quest for a new light. I wrote it while I was at the VCA.
There was a scene that did look a bit like this
And last year at an op shop I found 2 volumes of another DIY book that one of the directors used - so now I have all the original source material.

boynton said...

and erm, I don't have the books on hand right now, so I've been scouring the web looking for a scan of 'Successful Home Dying' - which I'm sure I saw on flickr last year too. But alas, which Tag?

I'll have to retrieve the books this week. I've been going through some old files here too, but all I can find is a 22 y old photocopy of page 743 Cultivating Outside Interests

F.G. Marshall-Stacks said...

Cultivating OUTSIDE interestsvirtually Blogging 101.

boynton said...

well, if Scott is not inclined to scan that page, I can scanz at a later date. (Along with Succesful Home Dying - the mistake might been corrected in later editions of the book)

The caption on p 743:
There is a longing in many people to express themselves through (blogging)...

Scott said...

I'll take a look for Successful Home Dying!

Scott said...

Alas - my 1956 version of NHM has the correctly spelt "dyeing", but the text would have been hilarious if the spelling was wrong: "The best approach to home dying is to accept it as a hazard: it can be so successful that the risk is well worth taking, but you also need to take a philosophical view that you may not care for the results. The following notes take the job to pieces as minutely as possible...".

To add to this , I have just discovered a section on exhuming a body!

boynton said...

Great quote - I always suspected it was a Philosophy tome.
(with a Hitchcockian twist)

I still do not have my books with me, but your magnificent page #7 indicates it's a later edition. I would have remembered those saucepans.