The Pocket A Hidden History of Women's Lives, 1660–1900 Barbara Burman, Ariane Fennetaux

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
14 Apr 2020
ISBN:
9780300253740
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
264 pages: 235 x 175mm

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 riveting book . . . few stones are left unturned.”—Roberta Smith’s “Top Art Books of 2019”, The New York Times
 
“A brilliant book”—Ulinka Rublack, Times Literary Supplement

Barbara Burman is an independent scholar, and Ariane Fennetaux is associate professor of 18th-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
 


'The authors' careful research is enthralling . . . a very handsome illustrated book'—Libération


'A fascinating book'—Le Monde


"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


"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