Biting the Dust: The Joys of Housework

Fourth Estate Limited, 1997; Reprinted by St. Martin’s Press, 1998
ISBN: 978-0788197789

In this witty look at our obsession with cleaning, Horsfield confronts her own dirt demons & scours the social, historical, literary, & psychological nooks & crannies of the world of household chores. Through historical research, countless interviews & an analysis of characters from novels & advertising, she presents such memorable personalities as the woman who sends her small daughter to walk around other people s houses in white tights. From demented television housewives to the redoubtable Mrs. Beeton, this book runs the gamut of ideas & emotions & throws light on a subject that is rich, strange &, oddly enough, highly entertaining.

“Horsfield couldn’t take a more ordinary subject and make it more interesting. In a thought-provoking, informative, yet endlessly entertaining way, she proves housecleaning to be an intensely personal, irrational and self-defining activity, while giving important insight into why a woman’s work is never done.” —Publishers’ Weekly

“There is a wealth of erudition here…and Margaret Horsfield has a useful take on it all…” —Times Literary Supplement

“Don’t let the cover fool you, Biting the Dust: The Joys of Housework …is no campy portrait of domestic bliss but an exhaustive exploration of housework and its history. It will surprise you with its humor and insight.” —Book Page

Available on-line or by contacting Margaret.

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