Dairy Queens

Interior of the Dairy at Ham House. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

When Janet Blyberg and I recently visited Ham House, we had a peek at the small Dairy there, with its charming benches with painted cast iron supports in the shape of cow’s legs.

Victorian implements for making ice cream in the Dairy. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

Janet mentioned a recently published book by Meredith Martin called Dairy Queens: The Politics of Pastoral Architecture from Catherine de’ Medici to Marie-Antoinette (Harvard University Press, 2011).

In analysing the pleasure dairies of early modern France, Martin contends that they were not frivolous playthings, as traditionally thought, but that they were in fact statements of feminine identity and purpose. A more detailed review of the book can be found here on Enfilade. I haven’t read the book yet, but I intend to order it, so you may read more about it here in a little while.

2 Responses to “Dairy Queens”

  1. Editor Says:

    Thanks, Emile, for the mention, and I’m envious of the time you and Janet spent together at Ham House 🙂
    Like you, I look forward to reading Martin’s book soon.
    -Craig, Enfilade Editor

  2. Janet Says:

    Thank you for these gorgeous images of the dairy. Was dying to see all of those various dairy vessels and implements up close. I have a feeling that quite a few of us are going to spend the spring with Martin’s book. . . and wishing we could learn to churn butter!

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