If Walls Could Talk isn’t exactly an academic, peer reviewed, footnoted piece of work, but it is kinda fun as a light read. Some of her etymological claims seem a bit spurious, some I’m sure I’ve heard debunked elsewhere, but it’s entertaining nonetheless. I think it could’ve been more interesting if she’d gone more into the things she experienced for herself like sleeping on a rope bed, blacking a range, etc, etc. That’s a perspective most of us don’t know anything about, and which she couldn’t have got wrong since it’s down to experience.
At least unlike some other popular non-fiction writers, she doesn’t get too giggly or avoidant about some of the topics that inevitably come up: sex, sanitation, death, childbirth, etc, etc.
Oh, and someone else quite rightly pointed out that she’s really talking about English houses. Not a single mention of Wales, Scotland and Ireland. I believe there were some significant differences…