Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan shares her recent media interest into her research and recent book Ideal Homes, 1918-39: Domestic Design and Suburban Modernism.

Deborah was keynote speaker at the Women’s History Network Midlands conference Homes Fit for Heroines at Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings on 16 March. In 1918, the day after the armistice the Prime Minister Lloyd George promised ‘homes fit for heroes’ would be built for the returning soldiers. But behind this slogan lie many controversies: who would provide these homes, who would decide what a 'fit' home was and would they be suitable working environments for women who heroically carried on with the grind of everyday life.

This conference explored debates, designs and experiences of twentieth century homes and housing in Britain. Deborah's keynote talk was entitled: "Maid of all work and hostess combined": Housework, social status and agency in interwar suburbia. It drew on research for her most recent book Ideal Homes, 1918-39: Domestic Design and Suburban Modernism (Manchester University Press).

Deborah Sugg Ryan joined Professor David Olusoga for an event at Manchester Museum on 21 March entitled ‘Behind the Scenes of A House Through Time’. Deborah is a series consultant and onscreen expert for the BBC two series, A House Through Time that David presents, that will be back on BBC Two on Monday 8 April at 9 pm. In the spectacular museum, to a packed audience, Deborah explained how her research on the design, decoration and material culture of the home informs the series.

This was followed by a discussion between Deborah and David, chaired by Professor Jerome de Groot, University of Manchester. The evening was sponsored by Manchester University Press, publishers of Deborah’s book Ideal Home, 1918-29: Domestic Design and Suburban Modernism.

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