Bound to please : a history of the Victorian corset /Series: Dress, body, culturePublication details: Oxford ; New York : Berg, 2001.Description: 302 pages : illustrations ; 25 cmISBN:
- GT2075 .S85 2001
|Item type||Current library||Collection||Call number||Copy number||Status||Date due||Barcode|
|Book||Whitecliffe Library General Shelves||General||GT 2075 SUM (Browse shelf(Opens below))||1||Available||0005550|
Includes bibliographical references (pages 257-296) and index.
'Elegance comfort durability!'class, contours, and corsetry -- Corsetry and the invisibility of the maternal body -- The child, the corset, and the construction of female sexuality -- Corsetry and the reality of 'female complaints' -- Breathless with anticipation: romance, morbidity and the corset -- Not in that corset: gender, gymnastics, and the cultivation of the late nineteenth-century female body -- Corsetry, advertising, and multiple readings of the nineteenth-century female body.
Corsets, and the corseted body, have been fetishized, mythologized and romanticized. This Victorian icon has inspired passionate debate that is unrivalled by any other article of clothing and surpassed as a means of body modification only perhaps by foot binding and female circumcision. Summers' provocative book dismantles many of the commonly held misconceptions about the corset. It focuses on how corsetry punished, regulated and sculpted the female form from childhood and adolescence through to pregnancy and even old age. The author reveals how the "steels and bones," which damaged bodies and undermined mental health, were a crucial element in constructing middle-class women as psychologically submissive subjects. Underlying this compelling discussion are issues surrounding the development and expression of juvenile and adult sexuality. While maintaining that the corset was the perfect vehicle through which to police femininity, the author unpacks the myriad ways in which women consciously resisted its restrictions and reveals the hidden, macabre romance of this potent Victorian symbol.