Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Series Page

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction

Katherine Joslin and Daneen Wardrop

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pp. ix-xxii

This is a collection of essays about how we dress, what it costs, and how we read it. Writers look at fabrics and designs from the early nineteenth through the early twentieth century, a period of remarkable change in textiles, production, labor, and fashion, especially in the reform of female dress as a sign...

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1. “Excesses of Every Kind”: Dress and Drag around 1870

Abigail Joseph

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pp. 1-34

In March 1870, the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine opened its monthly forecast for “The Fashions” by proclaiming that “instead of laying down general rules on the subject of dress, our task is now to describe toilets which all more or less bear the stamp of fancy costumes”: costumes, that is, for a “fancy-dress...

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2. An Epitome of Times and Fashions: Temporality and Textiles in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s House of the Seven Gables

Babak Elahi

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pp. 35-72

Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote and published during a time marked by social acceleration. In The House of the Seven Gables, the heirs of the Pyncheon estate, Clifford and Hepzibah, leave their mossy house to board a moving train that hurtles them into physical and social spaces unknown. Hawthorne’s...

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3. Austen’s Muslin

Laura George

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pp. 73-102

In chapter 3 of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, when Mrs. Allen asks Henry Tilney, “And pray, sir, what do you think of Miss Morland’s gown?” (21), readers should be forgiven for assuming that a compliment might be forthcoming. Henry responds: “It is very pretty, madam,” said he; gravely examining it; “but...

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4. William Makepeace Thackeray’s Fashionable Humbugs: Consuming National Distinctions of Dress in Vanity Fair

Amy L. Montz

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pp. 103-124

Half French and a conniving social fraud, William Makepeace Thackeray’s scandalous “love to hate her and hate to love her” character Becky Sharp is not socially acceptable to the middle- and upper-class persons with whom she spends so much time in the novel.¹ She is, however, quite capable of constructing...

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5. “Such Hosts of Rags”: Transatlantic Crossings between Paper and Cotton in Melville’s “The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids”

Amber Shaw

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pp. 125-148

In the closing pages of his chapter on the Lowell, Massachusetts, textile mills, in American Notes for General Circulation (1842), Charles Dickens gestures toward comparing the quality of life of the New England mill “girls” he has observed and that of the Manchester, England, workers with whom he is “well...

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6. Dressing the Aesthetic Woman, from “Maison Lucile” to Midnight in Paris

Margaret D. Stetz

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pp. 149-166

Midnight in Paris (2011), written and directed by Woody Allen, deals comically with the nostalgia that second-rate or would-be artists experience, as they dream their way into times of past glory and imagine themselves being welcomed and encouraged by the greats whose works they idolize. The film...

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7. Clothing and Colonialism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

Pouneh Saeedi

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pp. 167-186

The history of the colonization of the Congo, as manifested in the above passage, is interwoven with strands of black and white, with whiteness being presented, initially, as a signifier for spirituality and civilization and blackness as a symbol of the darkness of the heart and mind. Similar chromatic...

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8. The Midwife’s Clothing: Jessie Fauset In and Out of Fashion

Kimberly Lamm

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pp. 187-228

A consumer product almost inextricably linked to the assumed superficialities of self-display, it is easy to dismiss fashionable clothing as symptomatic of women’s unreflective participation in the visual cultures of capitalism. Because of deep-seated ideas about women’s affinity with the superficialities...

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9. Modeling for Men: The Early Jean Rhys

Hope Howell Hodgkins

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pp. 229-254

Novelist Jean Rhys (1890–1979) may be read as champion of the colonialist victim, as the writer who gave a voice to the madwoman in the attic, or even as a quintessential Parisian artiste of the twenties, drifting from café to café. But it is useful to consider her hard road to modernist style. The peculiar...

Bibliography

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pp. 255-272

Contributors

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pp. 273-274

Index

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pp. 275-290

Images

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pp. 291-306