Parlor and Kitchen
Housing and Domestic Culture in Budapest, 1870-1940
Gábor Gyáni, Senior Research Fellow at the
Institute of History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
"This translation of Gyáni's work is a
welcome study of domestic space, providing as it does
a central European point of comparison and is one which
should inspire further research on the topic."
- Urban History
"Gyáni's immense undertaking provides a
unique picture of the development of Budapest as a thriving
city, with dynamic upper-class grandeur as well as simple
working-class and peasant living; ... a work that is
that is sure to be the definitive book of statistics
on and description of Budapest's incredible ascent as
a major European city. Gyáni makes excellent
use of statistics and archival resources and gives much
credit to Péter Hanák, whose work on the
history of Budapest was the impetus for this urban and
sociological study." - Slavic and East European
"Like a genial real estate agent, Gábor
Gyáni escorts the reader from the grand ten-room
apartment to the one-room bedroom-kitchen, all the while
gossiping about the previous owners, the cost of furnishing,
the choice of décor, the use of space, and the
mannered interactions in the courtyard and hanging corridors...
The reader cannot but be impressed with the diligence,
inventiveness, and fulsomness with which the author
has marshaled his detail. The book is also easy reading.
The translation is good, flowing English. The book's
rich description will be useful to anyone trying to
create a picture of everyday urban life in Budapest
from 1870-1940." - Austrian Studies Newsletter
"...a far-ranging survey of housing in Budapest
from the late ninteenth century to the start of World
War II..., the present work stands out for its wide
chronological sweep, its solid archival foundation,
and its frequent reference to German- and English-language
historiography." - Austrian History Yearbook
Besides Berlin, Budapest was the fastest-growing capital
city in Europe at the end of the nineteenth century.
Parlor and Kitchen, the work of a microhistorian
and historical anthropologist, describes the development
of private spaces in this newly emerged metropolis.
Author Gábor Gyáni has chosen two distinct groups
of contemporary society: the upper middle class and
the working class, to present their homes, domestic
culture and attitudes. At the same time the book offers
a panoramic view of the everyday life of the entire
society, on social segregation and mobility. Behind
the visual details the author reveals a great deal about
the value systems of the groups of society investigated.
Reconstructing minute details as well as case studies,
the author has relied on archival sources, private documents,
and statistical data. The text is accompanied by contemporary
photographs, maps and blueprints.
This enlightening and interesting volume will be of
interest not only to historians, anthropologists and
sociologists, but also to the general reader with an
interest in urban history.
Gábor Gyáni is founder and editor of the quarterly
Budapest Review of Books. He is President of the Hungarian-American
Historians' Committee and Secretary of the Urban History
Workshop of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
A student of the late professor Péter Hanák, Gyáni
is active in research into the urban and social history
of modern Hungary and the theory and methodology of
I. City planning and urbanisation in Budapest
on the turn of the century II. A sanctuary of
privacy: the bourgeois home in Budapest in the 19th
and 20th centuries III. Private space in a community.
The Budapest working-class apartment in the 19th and
220 pages, with numerous photos
ISBN978-963-9241-27-5 cloth $45.95 / €42.95 / Ł37.00