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All the Rage

Virginia Nicholson

'No one else makes history this fun' AMANDA FOREMAN

'All the Rage sits you at the dressing table of history: a place of dreams, doubts, self-harm and hopes' SARAH DITUM, SUNDAY TIMES

'Wonderfully engaging' HARPER'S BAZAAR

At the heart of this history is the female body.

The century-span between the crinoline and the bikini witnessed more mutations in the ideal western woman's body shape than at any other period.

In this richly detailed account, Virginia Nicholson, described as 'one of the great social historians of our time...' (Amanda Foreman) takes us to the Frontline of Beauty to reveal the power, the pain and the pleasure involved in adorning the female body.

The Power

Who determines which shape is currently 'all the rage'? Looking at how custom, colour, class and sex fit into the picture, this book also charts how the advances made by feminism collided with the changing shape of desirability.

The Pain

Here is Gladys, who had botched surgery on her nose; Dorothy, whose skin colour lost her an Oscar; Beccy who took slimming pills and died; and - unbelievably - the radioactive corset.

The Pleasure

Here are the 'New Women' who discovered freedom by bobbing their hair; the boyish, athletic 'Health and Beauty' ladies in black knickers; and starlets in bohemian beachwear. Among the first to experience true women's liberation were the early adopters of trousers.

Encompassing two world wars and a revolution in women's rights, All the Rage tells the story of western female beauty from 1860 to 1960, chronicling its codes, its contradictions, its lies, its highs - and its underlying power struggle.

  • Classification : HISTORY
  • Pub Date : APR 11, 2024
  • Imprint : Virago
  • Page Extent : 528
  • Binding : HB
  • ISBN : 9780349014319
  • Price : INR 1,999
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Virginia Nicholson

Virginia Nicholson is the author of Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939, Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men After the First World War, Millions Like Us: Women's Lives in War and Peace 1939-1949, Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes: The Story of Women in the 1950s, How Was It For You? Women, Sex, Love and Power in the 1960s as well as Charleston: A Bloomsbury House and Garden. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Nicholson is the granddaughter of Vanessa Bell and the great-niece of Virginia Woolf, and is the President of the Charleston Trust, and a trustee of the Strachey Trust.

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