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.