Dress, Distress and Desire: Clothing and the Female Body in Eighteenth-Century Literature

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9781403948472: Dress, Distress and Desire: Clothing and the Female Body in Eighteenth-Century Literature
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Dress, Distress and Desire explores representations of sartorial experience in eighteenth-century literature. Batchelor's study brings together for the first time canonical and non-canonical texts including novels, conduct books and women's magazines to investigate the pressures that the growth of the fashion market placed on conceptions of female virtue and propriety. It shows how dress dispelled the sentimental myth that the body acted as a moral index and enabled the women reader to resist some of sentimental literature's more prescriptive advice.

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About the Author:

JENNIE BATCHELOR is Lecturer in English at the University of Kent. She has published on women and gender in the eighteenth century. She is an Associate Editor of the e-journal CW3, the journal of the Corvey Women's Writers Project, and is a General Editor of a new Palgrave series A History of British Women's Writing. With Cora Kaplan, she has co-edited a collection of essays on authorship, history and politics in eighteenth-century women's writing to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2005

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'This is a tremendous book...Batchelor's focus on the manifold significance of dress in relation to the construction and deconstruction of the woman of sensibility in a range of genres is highly original and fresh...it's a book that I would recommend to undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers interested in the eighteenth century novel, sentimentalism and feminism.' - Dr. Angela Keane, University of Sheffield, UK

'[I]nteresting and suggestive and part of a very important discourse of gender and materiality.' - Cynthia Wall, Studies in English Literature 1500-1900

'This is an extremely worthwhile book. It synthesizes current scholarship on sensibility and on fashion and female consumption in a pointed and powerful manner. The main lines of her argument follow the concerns of eighteenth-century scholars interested in gender, fashion, and consumption, and Batchelor's reading of prominent texts such as Pamela, The Wanderer, Belinda, and Fordyce's Sermons have much to offer students and scholars of eighteenth-century literature.. Dress, Distress and Desire provides a convincing, illuminating, and resourceful look at the often insoluble binds eighteenth-century women faced as they strived to dress for success.' - Erin Mackie, Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation (Vol 46)

'[A] precise, learned, and ably sustained examination of how the paradoxes of sartorial codes and of the ideology of sensibility merge to create the maddening double binds that ensnare women who would make claims to legitimacy.' - Erin Mackie, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation.

'Batchelor's careful study informs and transforms conventional interpretations of a range of eighteenth-century literature. Dress, Distress and Desire has the virtues of both depth and breadth and will prove a rich source of ideas for eighteenth-century scholars and students.' - Sarah Prescott, Notes and Queries

'[This] book combines impeccable research and theoretical sophistication with an eminently readable style.' - Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, 2006

'With its tight focus on the double binds of fashion and sensibility, and the multifaceted ways that women's sexuality was implicated in and connected by both contexts, Batchelor's Dress, Distress and Desire offers a valuable development in the study of women and modes of representation in the eighteenth century.' - Tita Chico, Eighteenth-Century Studies

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Book Description Palgrave USA, United States, 2005. Hardback. Condition: New. 2005 ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Dress, Distress and Desire explores representations of sartorial experience in eighteenth-century literature. Batchelor s study brings together for the first time canonical and non-canonical texts including novels, conduct books and women s magazines to investigate the pressures that the growth of the fashion market placed on conceptions of female virtue and propriety. It shows how dress dispelled the sentimental myth that the body acted as a moral index and enabled the women reader to resist some of sentimental literature s more prescriptive advice. Seller Inventory # APC9781403948472

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