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The Corset: A Cultural History [Paperback]

Valerie Steele
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 15.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Feb 2003
An essential element of fashionable dress from the Renaissance into the twentieth century, the corset has been viewed not only as an object of eroticism but also as an instrument of torture and subjugation. This lavishly illustrated book explores the cultural history of the corset. Named one of the Best of the Year 2001 by the Toronto Globe & Mail. Selected for inclusion in the Books to Remember list by the New York Public Library. Winner of the 2002 Milia Davenport Publication Award sponsored by the Costume Society of America.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (4 Feb 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300099533
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300099539
  • Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 23.1 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 190,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Obligatory reading for fashion historians." -- Times Literary Supplement

"The Corset is at once couture eye candy and intellectually enlightening." -- Women’s Review of Books

"This is cultural scholarship and social history at its absolute best." -- Literary Review

About the Author

Valerie Steele is chief curator and acting director, The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York. Among her many publications are Fifty Years of Fashion (ISBN 0 300 08738 1, pb. [pound]15.00*), Fashion Italian Style (forthcoming, ISBN 0 300 10014 0, [pound]25.00*), and China Chic: East Meets West (with John S. Major) (ISBN 0 300 07930 3, [pound]35.00*), all published by Yale University Press. She is also editor of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE CORSET IS PROBABLY THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL GARMENT in the entire history of fashion. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
An excellent well written book on the history of corsets up to the present day for both men and women, with illustrations and diagrams. This has proved to be a most useful book for my dissertation on the effects of the corset on the body and in society. The content has been well researched and put together in different sections that are easy to follow and digest. I think this is a great book for anyone interested in corsets whether it be for work / education or just as a hobby. I have many corset books and as far as the history of corsets this has to be one of the best.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Corset 19 April 2005
Format:Paperback
This book is fantastic, it helps portray the history of the corset from the beginning when both men and women were subjected to wearing it and through to fetishism and modern day use. The pictures are brilliant and the diagrams show how the corset affected women's bodies and organs. It definitely helped me out with a number of essays on art and fashion. I absolutely recommend this book even just to read, it's very interesting and gives a thorough anthology of it's history.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wealth of information. 27 Nov 2005
Format:Paperback
This book is great for anyone interested in the history of, or modern corsetry. Some great images that i haven't seen elsewhere, but if your looking for any technical information, this book is slightly lacking. A good initial insight into corsetry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good source of information 14 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very informative. Much needed for research into corsetry. Book even informs you about further research on books to read. Would not be without it
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what it says on the wrapper. 5 Jun 2011
By Vicky J
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If this book has one weakness, it lies in its sometime over-academic stance. On a quick skim, you may get the impression that corseting and corsetry was a matter of interest only to fashion historians and psychologists. However, as you delve and explore the book in detail, you realise that the author has immense knowledge and understanding of the reasons that men and women wore corsets in the past; and many continue to do so today. She is not judgemental but does sometimes slip into the academic style, "...how interesting that those people feel that way..." as if they were a different section of humanity. I suppose they are in a way so she's only reflecting the facts, but it's done in a fishbowl or zoological way. I find it disconcerting.

None of this detracts from a brilliant review of the corset and its role in fashion history, in social movements, and in the development of erotic sensibility in the species. The illustrations are wonderful, the development of fashion styles and figure modification, the acknowledgment of different lifestyles: all are presented with clarity and explanations. There are some big corset-names under-represented even if mentioned such as Menton, Mrs Cayne, Iris Norris, Gardner & Sons, Michael Garrod. Even so, it is a most valuable text and entertaining also.
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