Splendid Slippers: A Thousand Years of an Erotic Tradition

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9781580082563: Splendid Slippers: A Thousand Years of an Erotic Tradition
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An extraordinary exploration of footbinding that encompasses Chinese art and mythology, social and political history, and truly exotic eroticism. The author's vast collection of historical and contemporary photographs, plus 40 full-color "portraits" of her most prized slippers, creates a uniquely poignant and evocative panorama.

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About the Author:

BEVERLEY JACKSON is an esteemed art and cultural historian who specializes in Chinese art and costume. She tours and lectures on Asian art from her home in Santa Barbara, California.

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In a fascinating yet gruesome account of the former practice of binding the feet of Chinese girls, Jackson details the 1,000-year history, the necessary surgery and two-year process, the shoes and embroidery, and the lore (erotic and otherwise), as well as comparisons with other cultures (e.g., the so-called giraffe women of Burma, whose necks stretch as a result of an increasing series of necklaces). Surprisingly, it's a remarkably easy piece of writing to peruse; she tells both personal and cultural stories of lotus-bud feet, beginning with her discovery of a less-than-six-inch pair of shoes in, of all places, Edinburgh. Elegant color and historical photographs give the tradition a sense of reality; a fictional character--Phoenix Treasure--opens every chapter with comments on both the practice and the changing culture. Hobbled, almost crippled at times with pain, the Han Chinese women of yore (Manchus or Hakkas would never submit to such a barbarism) are indeed worthy of our pity--and, in modern days, our respect. Barbara Jacobs

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