House That Jack Built After Jack's had Proved a Failure by E.C. Gardner. (A book of home architecture, with illustrations by E.C. Gardner. Fords, Howard, & Hulbert. New York. 1882. Our Continent Publishing Co.5"x7". 249 pages plus advertisements. 76 illustrations - house plans, exterior and interior illustrations. Green cloth cover with black ink lettering and decoration, and silver lettering on spine and front cover. Some wear to cover edges. Light soiling to cover. Cover tips are bumped. Light soiling on the top of the page block but some of this might be faded gilt. A 1/4" hole on the front fly leaf apparently an attempt to remove an ink mark. That page also has a corner crease. A light pencil notation on the first white blank page. Paper is lightly tanned, but still quite flexible. Otherwise, no previous owner markings. No tears, folds or creases to pages. Binding is tight with no looseness to pages. Not ex-library, not remaindered and not a facsimile reprint. For sale by Jon Wobber, bookseller since 1978. DE17a
This book's short-comings include ommision of where to put your plasma tv and how to install the automatic dishwasher. Indeed the book seems devoid of any discussion of electricity. I don't see how anybody could have used this book. Actually this book gives a good illustration of what home life was like in the late 19th Century and the considerations involved with building a home then.
"A charming book to read, and an admirable, practical guide to building a home." - publisher's blurb
"Eugene Gardner's The House That Jack Built After Jack's had Proved a Failure (1882) ...written by design professionals. Gardner's book was destinguished from professional works...in that it attempted to realize a houskeeper's notions as to what a house should be, at least in terms of its interior arrangements. Significantly, the tale begins with Jack and Jill recoieving as a wedding gift, a blank check from Jill's father to finance the construction of a house. The house that Jack builds proves so unsatisfactory to Jill that she refuses to marry him until he gives his promise to "to make the house over" once they wed....the newlywed couple spend their wedding journey visiting houses to study their internal arrangements....Jill...insisting that they draw up plans on the lot to ensure that their house is oriented to the best views...she proves herself to be a competent, even inspired interior designer. "- 'Newlyweds on Tour: Honeymooning in Nineteenth-century America' By Barbara Penner. (The book implies that Jack does't have a clue.)