Monday, June 9, 2014
‘Victorian Secrets’ by Sarah A. Chrisman
Chrisman’s husband Gabriel gave her the corset as a birthday gift and she at first resented the attitudes of female suppression that she believed the corset represented.
She tried it on, reluctantly at first, and found it improved her posture and seemed to reduce the severity of her migraines.
The size of Chrisman’s waist went from 32 to 22 inches.
Wearing her corset, while a personal choice, was not without controversy. Chrisman documents time and again being exposed to misconceptions and prejudices directed toward what Gabriel described as her “off-brand” diversity.
How pervasive is the “accepted” view of a corset as stifling and confining?
My most recent media impression of Industrial-era corsets is a depiction in Masterpiece Theatre’s Mr. Selfridge. With the men away at war, female employees find it difficult to work in the department store’s loading docks because of their corsets’ tight bindings. The solution proposed by the store proprietor’s wife is to allow the women to discard their corsets and instead cinch their blouses with a belt.
With this recent depiction in mind, I found Chrisman’s book to be very enlightening. She and her husband have an extensive collection of antique Victorian clothes. I appreciated reading about her experience as an ambassador for our society’s past.
Subject Classifications (Partial list, via Dewey Decimal System)
- 006.754-Social Media
- 020-Library and Information Science
- 020.92-Cynthia M. Parkhill (Biographical)
- 023.3-Library Workers
- 025.04-Internet Access
- 027.473-Public Libraries
- 027.663-Libraries and people with disabilities
- 027.8-School Libraries
- 028.52-Children's Literature
- 028.535-Young Adult Literature
- 028.7-Information Literacy
- 158.2-Social Intelligence
- 323.30-People with disabilities--Civil rights
- 658.812-Customer Service
- 659.2-Public Relations
- 686.22-Graphic Design
- 809-Literature--Critical Appraisal