“A riveting book . . . few stones are left unturned.”—Roberta Smith’s “Top Art Books of 2019,” The New York Times
This fascinating and enlightening study of the tie-on pocket combines materiality and gender to provide new insight into the social history of women’s everyday lives—from duchesses and country gentry to prostitutes and washerwomen—and to explore their consumption practices, sociability, mobility, privacy, and identity. A wealth of evidence reveals unexpected facets of the past, bringing women’s stories into intimate focus.
“What particularly interests Burman and Fennetaux is the way in which women of all classes have historically used these tie-on pockets as a supplementary body part to help them negotiate their way through a world that was not built to suit them.”—Kathryn Hughes, The Guardian
“A brilliant book.”—Ulinka Rublack, Times Literary Supplement
Barbara Burman is an independent scholar, and Ariane Fennetaux is associate professor of eighteenth-century history at the Université de Paris.
“What particularly interests Burman and Fennetaux is the way in which women of all classes have historically used these tie-on pockets as a supplementary body part to help them negotiate their way through a world that was not built to suit them”—Kathryn Hughes, Guardian
"In this riveting book, the authors take advantage of the pockets' frequent survival in textile museums, private collections and family holdings across Britain, tracing their presence in art, literature, political satire, domestic organization and court records."—Roberta Smith, New York Times "Best Art Books of 2019"
'The authors' careful research is enthralling . . . a very handsome illustrated book'—Libération
'A fascinating book'—Le Monde
"Occupying the hinterland between dress and underwear, the pocket has been discounted as rather too private and individual to yield universal truth, yet that is exactly what Burman and Fennetaux have done with this remarkable new study."—Selvedge
“[T]his is not just a book about pockets as a material artefact, but a rich social and cultural history of women and their lives.”—Elizabeth Spencer, Cultural and Social History
“From its very beginning, the book invites the readers to immerse themselves into the fascinating world of the pocket and cleverly presents stories of objects that illuminate a range of practices related to the daily life, whether in material,textual, or visual form.”—Alicia Mihalic, The Journal of Dress History
“Beautifully designed and wonderfully illustrated…This kind of focused and revolutionary study opens a bright destiny for interdisciplinary research in the Humanities.”—Dr. Axel Moulinier, Kunst Chronik
"Barbara Burman and Ariane Fennetaux demonstrate the riches to be found in a unique gendered accessory – the tie-on pocket. They illuminate centuries of British women’s history through their deep knowledge of material culture, showcasing women’s priorities and embodied experiences. Omnipresent, though often hidden, pockets evoked fashion and female virtues. Recovered histories of pockets, their embellishment and persistent usage, reveal vital features of women’s lives"– Professor Beverly Lemire, Henry Marshall Tory Chair at the University of Alberta
"The extensive archival research and thoughtful analysis elevate the pocket beyond a utilitarian piece of clothing, illustrating — with great success — the ways in which the nuances and details of women's lived experiences can be expressed through material objects."—Charlotte Fletcher, University of Southampton in the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
“The Pocket is a deft and adroit history of women’s lives as told through their clothing. It illuminates women’s lives in their richness and complexity, taking the reader as close to historical ‘experience’ as it is possible to be.”—Anna Parker, Review 31
“The Pocket is an enlightening and engaging account of both the use of tie-on pockets and women’s material lives in the long eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and is to be highly commended.”—Rebecca Unsworth, Textile History [Journal]
"Providing an exhaustive and compelling account of the pocket, the authors deliver on their intention, demonstrating the insight this small relic of dress history can give us into the lives of women who made, purchased, exchanged and wholeheartedly relished the pocket.”—Jessica Harpley, Journal of Design History
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