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The Cult of Invalidism

14 Aug

During the Victorian era there arose a fashion for invalidism. This ‘cult’ challenged the male desire for fertile, hourglass figures since the invalid woman was thin, frail and rendered so ‘ill’ as to jeopardise her reproductive potential. Invalidism was a continuum stretching from the woman who had occasional fainting fits in ‘extreme’ situations (such as walking in the garden), to women who limited their own movement and refused food. However, since the invalid mimicked masculine values of femininity, it was difficult to ascertain at what point the female quest for a thin waist and a passive demeanour became a form of transgression. While the extreme self-starver could be classified as anorexic, infantilised and returned to the masculine notion of the ideal female, most invalids were not so easily diagnose and accordingly found a form of resistance which was able to challenge masculine norms. In The Heavenly Twins, Colonel Colquhoun sums this up during Evadne’s illness which causes him to lament ‘[w]hat a damned nuisance these women are…There’s always something the matter with them!’[1]

Like hysteria and anorexia, invalidism was based upon social status, as well as gender. In Wives and Daughters, Lady Cumnor ‘having married her two eldest daughters…had leisure to be an invalid’. This ‘leisure’ reveals that invalidism was an occupation with which women chose to engage. Able to select the times for a bout of ill health, Lady Cumnor was ‘too energetic to allow herself this indulgence constantly.’ When she wished to be active, her health miraculously returned, and conversely, when she desired rest, such as following ‘a long course of dinners, late hours, and London atmosphere’, she ‘permitted herself to break down.’[2] Thus, invalidism provides Lady Cumnor with options – to be an active participant in public and private affairs, and to shirk all responsibility when it suits her mood. Invalidism was used as a form of power or social leverage since the woman who restricted herself to the sofa became centre of attention and was granted an excuse to avoid undesirable situations. Invalid women thus stepped simultaneously into the socially acceptable by becoming weak and passive, and the social nuisance who commanded the household from her place on the settee.

Copyright © 2011 Victoria Fairclough

[1] S. Grand, The Heavenly Twins (Charleston: BiblioLife, 2009), p.578

[2] E. Gaskell, Wives and Daughters, p.91



Is Tight-Lacing Injurious?

14 Aug

In 1890 an article published in the Lancet warned of death from tight-lacing, arguing that its effects ‘cannot but be hurtful’ as ‘almost every important organ is subjected to cramping pressure’.[1] The fatal consequences of respiratory constraint are portrayed by contemporary literature in the case of Snow White, whose wicked step mother threatens to ‘“lace [her] properly for once.”’[2] To lace her ‘properly’ according to the sadistic dimensions of the tiny Victorian ‘wasp-waist’ causes near death by suffocation as ‘the old woman laced so quickly and so tightly that Snow White lost her breath and fell down as if dead.’[3] Objecting to the practice of tight-lacing, the Lancet warned that its dangers ‘should be noted by these foolish persons whose false taste and vanity have made them suffering devotees of a custom so injurious.’[4]

In a Punch article entitled ‘Is Tight-Lacing Injurious?’ (1870), the importance of a wasp-waist is discussed by women who believe that because ‘fashion had revived the custom of tight-lacing, ladies were obliged to cultivate a fashionable figure.’[5] The phrase, ‘obliged’ discloses that tight-lacing was not a volitional practice, but a social prescription that women must follow in order to remain in vogue. A small waist, however, was achieved at the expense of every day comforts, such as the satisfaction gained from eating. In an edition of the magazine published in the previous year, one correspondent, ‘A Victim’, writes that despite her enjoyment of the admiration that accompanies her tightly-laced figure:

stays are a great torture, and deprive one of a number of small comforts and enjoyments, not to mention one so vulgar as enjoying a nice dinner, which one has no room to swallow when one’s squeezed to sixteen inches.[6]

This woman’s longing to satisfy her appetite reveals that her motive for tight-lacing is not slenderness alone, but because she would ‘rather die than dress out of the fashion’.[7] Fun (1889) also points to the sacrifice that the wasp-waisted woman must make in order to maintain her figure:

ELLA had a little waist,

She could eat no dinner,

For she was so tightly laced,

Space was not within her.[8]

Practitioners of tight-lacing were unable to enjoy food, Miss Tucker informing that ‘the worst of wearing a tight dress was that it sadly took away one’s appetite…Now, this was a great misery, for she was fond of eating. Still, she had rather give up her custards than her corset.’[9] Moonshine (1887) reveals that reducing one’s waist to fifteen inches not only reduces appetite but also leads to ‘squeezing’, ‘pinches’ and ‘awful indigestion’.[10] In addition to these ailments, Miss Lovelace’s tight stays cause her to ‘[faint] at the dinner table’[11] and, ‘after eating a good dinner,’ Mrs M. Bonpoint ‘was frequently obliged to have her laces cut, to save herself from fainting.’[12]

Numerous contemporary periodicals opposed the practice of tight-lacing, not only pointing to the potential for causing physical harm, but the financial cost of such injury and ill health. John Bull (1848) correlates a tightly-laced figure with lack of wellbeing, stating ‘[w]henever you see a small waist, think how much health is wasted.’[13] Use of the term ‘waste’ allowed for puns to be made upon the tightly-laced ‘waist’, further demonstrated by the EDM (1866) that ‘look[s] upon every one of these little waists as a great waste of good sound health and long life.’[14] Waste implies the (mis)usage of a commodity in which women’s health was perceived as a patriarchal possession that could be lost through the mismanagement of female volition: an unhealthy body could not produce children. This concept of wasted health as explicitly connected with financial loss is observed in Punch (1857), which states that ‘[i]n the shadow of a small waist may be seen a large doctor’s bill and the outline of a coffin.’[15] Arguing against the wasp-waist, one author of Punch (1863) writes ‘[w]hen a man has the good fortune to get hold of a girl’s waist, he likes to feel it soft and yielding, and not buckramed and bone-stiffened’, since ‘a wife who has this latter proves a dear one to her husband.’[16] Slenderness and fashion are unnecessary costs to a husband who views his wife solely in material terms. This is reflected in the language of the article since a man’s good ‘fortune’ in marrying a woman with a narrow waist is reversed when his wife is revealed to be an object that will cost him ‘dear’.

In addition to the financial cost of ‘these pinchings in’,[17] an 1866 issue of the EDM points to the ‘shocking and diseased state of the internal organs connected with a small and taper waist.’[6] In descriptions of tightly-laced women, emphasis is placed upon its resulting unnatural and deformed appearance. The Hull Packet and Humber Mercury (1829) remarks upon the unsightly spectacle to be seen at ‘the fashionable promenade in Kensington Gardens’, where there are ‘a number of pale spectres, red…only as to the nose, misshaped like ill-trussed fowls at the breast; and describing the figure of S with their spines.’[18]

Copyright © 2011 Victoria Fairclough

[1] John Bull, issue 1 (London,England),14th October, 1848, p. 665

[2] The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, issue 21 (London,England),1st September, 1866, p.273

[3] Punch (London,England),4th July, 1857

[4] ‘Fashionable Suicide’, Punch, p.123

[5] The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine (1866), p.273

[6] The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, (1866), p.273

[7] Anon., ‘Tight-Lacing’, The Hull Packet and Humber Mercury, issue 2332 (Hull, England) 28th July, 1829

[8] C. Brontë, The Professor (Hertfordshire: Wordsworth, 1994), p.76

[9] Anon., ‘Death from Tight-Lacing’, The Lancet, issue 135 (1890), p.1816

[10] Grimm Brothers, ‘Little Snow White’, in Complete Fairy Tales (London: Routledge, 2006), p.217

[11] Grimm, ‘Little Snow White’, p.217

[12] ‘Death from Tight-Lacing’, Lancet (1890), p.1816

[13] Anon., ‘Is Tight-Lacing Injurious?, Punch (London,England),7th May, 1870, p.186

[14] ‘The Torments of Tight-Lacing’, Punch (1869)

[15] ‘The Torments of Tight-Lacing’, Punch (1869)

[16] ‘Ella Had a Little Waist’, Fun, issue 1256 (London, England), 5th June 1889, p.241

[17] ‘Is Tight-Lacing Injurious?’, Punch (1870), p.186

[18] ‘Death by Inches’, Moonshine (1887)

Tight-Lacing the Mind

14 Aug

The rise of the corset during the nineteenth century coincided with female demands for access to employment and education. The more women campaigned to enter the public and intellectual realm of their husbands, however, the more they were restricted. The corset thus came to symbolise this constraint, physically caging women’s bodies in order to maintain their passivity as ‘[i]n it a woman could barely sit or stoop, was unable to move her feet more than six inches at a time’.[1] Such physical costs of tight-lacing were compounded by the mental health concerns which were perceived as accompanying bodily constraint. In The Beth Book, Grand describes the results of tight-lacing upon a woman’s mind and body if the practice is not discarded as ‘[i]f the mind be tight-laced long enough, it is ruined as a model, just as the body is’.[2] Here, Grand campaigns against the constraining of female intellect as a method of masculine control, in which women were regarded as mentally inferior. Yet, the novel also emphasises the impossibility of removing the mental corset altogether from women whose intellect has been restricted for a long period of time as this ‘merely exposes the mind’s deformities without remedying them; so that there is nothing for the old generation but to remain in stays.’[3] This old generation inhabit a time of tightly-laced minds and bodies, in a period wherein:

well-formed women must compress their bodies till they looked like cylinders or hour-glasses, and lace till their noses swelled and their hair fell out…Those were the days when women had “no nonsense about them…,” none of those new-fangled ideas about education and that.[4]

Tight-lacing is associated with women’s inability to access the ‘masculine’ rational sphere of work and education. Women who desire the same opportunities as men must firstly rid themselves of their restrictive corsets.

Since it symbolically compressed the mind, tight-lacing was frequently associated with lack of intelligence. Punch (1857) states that ‘[a] narrowness of waist betrays a narrowness of mind. When the ribs are contracted, it is a sure sign that the intellect is also’,[5] while Funny Folks (1882) asserts that ‘[t]he smaller a compressed waist, the closer to its dimensions correspond with those of its wearer’s brains’.[6] In 1890, Judy campaigned against one medical authority that ‘inferentially associates the possession of a small waist (in women) with high intellectuality.’[7] The magazine responded to this in the form of a short play, warning the reader that far from increasing mental capacity, tight-lacing actually causes a reduction of intellect:

I overheard yon medico declare

That tightest corsets should enclose the fair;

And that the smaller is your wifey’s waist,

More mental power will be by her embraced…

To me ’tis very plain

That all who do in stays their shape retain,

Do but increase the volume of their brain![8]

Copyright © 2011 Victoria Fairclough

[1] S. Bordo, Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body (London: University of California Press, 1995), p.162

[2] Grand, The Beth Book, p.125

[3] Grand, The Beth Book, p.125

[4] Grand, The Beth Book, p.225

[5] Anon., ‘Aphorisms upon Tight-Lacing’, Punch (London, England), 4th July, 1857

[6] Anon., ‘Waist not, want not’, Funny Folks, issue 386 (London, England), 22nd April, 1882

[7] Anon., ‘Waist – and Want Not’, Judy: The Conservative Comic (London, England), 18th June, 1890

[8] ‘Waist – and Want Not’, Judy (1890)

Want to Attract a Husband? Tight-Lace!

14 Aug

In the nineteenth century, women went to great lengths to achieve a narrow waist-line.  Scientific developments have proven that this wasp-waist served an evolutionary, as well as social, purpose originating in the desire to attract and ‘find a mate’. In Survival of the Prettiest, Nancy Etcoff writes that ‘[e]volutionary psychologists suggest that men are automatically excited by signs of a woman who is fertile, healthy, and hasn’t been pregnant before.’[1] The physiological indicators of this state correspond to the physical ideal of a Victorian female, comprising an hourglass figure offset by a small waist. Within a theoretical context, this ideal is the result of biological attraction since, according to Etcoff, ‘[t]he waist is one of the body’s best indicators of hormonal function’.[2] Women whose figures were hourglass in shape, with ‘a waist-to-hip ratio below .8’ are twice as likely to conceive and bear children than those ‘whose waist-to-hip ratio was above .8’.[3] A narrow waist was only desirable, however, if accompanied by wide hips and a full bosom, thus pairing an indication of virginity with symbols of reproduction. Consequently, there were social and moral dimensions to physically manipulating a woman’s body. The virginal, yet reproductively capable female figure that an hourglass shape literally embodied reflected the patriarchal fascination with, and the supposed biological imperative for, the sexually passive and delicate woman who was also capable of bearing children.

The small waist was eroticised not only because it represented reproductive potential, but because it suggested weakness and vulnerability to the male seducer who was accordingly placed in a position of sexual dominance. The Dart: The Midland Figaro (1884) defines the ideal embodiment of girlhood as including a narrow waist that can be encircled by her lover:

Such a waist, such a waist, so small and tight-laced, Inviting the arm to surround it.[4]

In addition, La Belle Assemblée (1830) describes the happiness of a married couple in terms of the husband’s ability to enclose his wife’s waist:

[a] beautiful girl was sitting there, and circling her small waist was an arm that seemed grown to the graceful stem it projected; the girl was a bride, and the youth beside her was her own – her husband; they were the happiest of the happy.[5]

Likewise, in Dickens’ Martin Chuzzlewit (1844), a woman’s waist is described as a feature by which she can be physically ensnared as a male character throws ‘off all his constraint in an instant, and [seizes] the hostess round the waist’.[6] Enclosing a woman’s waist in this way could also be interpreted as a vaginal reference, wherein gender roles are reversed as the masculine arm envelopes a straight-laced, phallically shaped midriff. By doing so, however, the male character symbolically pre-empts and appropriates any female power that his wife will obtain from surrounding and enveloping his phallus following their marriage.

Women were aware of the male attraction towards a small waisted figure, using that to their advantage to snare a husband. An article entitled ‘Fashionable Suicide’ published in Punch (1863) reveals that one woman endured the practice in order to entice gentlemen who:

admire a slender figure, and think it most becoming. And as I’m dying to get mar—I mean, to please the gentlemen, why you see of course I must lace in my waist a bit, though it makes me feel quite faint at times.[7]

Likewise, another correspondent writes to the EDM (1868) that she maintains her small waist ‘because a certain friend has said that he could never survive if it were any larger or shorter.’[8] In Sarah Grand’s The Beth Book, Beth’s friend Geraldine boasts that she ‘“laced till [she] got shingles”’[9] in order to reduce the dimensions of her waist to ‘“only seventeen inches”’,[10] by which means she hopes she will obtain a husband. Beth’s mother also counsels her to make the most of her figure in order to attract a wealthy suitor, a process that is contingent upon her waist:

I don’t know what your waist is going to be, but you shall have some good stays. A fine shape goes a long way. With your prospects you really ought to make a good match, so do not slouch about any more as if you had no self-respect at all.[11]

As a result of this, Beth ‘tightened her stays to make her waist small’.[12] Since women did not have the same employment and educational opportunities as men, their principle means of gaining financially was by attracting a wealthy husband, and since importance was placed upon the size of the waist, tight-lacing was one of the principle ways by which this could be achieved. This is explicit in Geraldine’s words to Beth, that ‘“[m]y husband won’t think me silly once I get command of his money”’[13] and is echoed by Judy (1882) which states that ‘[t]he “primary object” of the female girl of the feminine sex is to land the good golden youth, and this is only to be done by the small waist’.[14] In Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891), Mrs Durbeyfield dresses Tess in such a way as to make her figure appear fuller, and consequently sexually mature, in order to draw the attentions of the supposedly wealthy Alec D’Urberville. She puts upon her:

the white frock that Tess had worn at the club-walking, the airy fulness of which, supplementing her enlarged coiffure, imparted to her developing figure an amplitude which belied her age, and might cause her to be estimated as a woman when she was not much more than a child.[15]

‘[I]mpelled by natural instinct to find a mate’,[16] Victorian women employ ‘every little art of dress and manner’[17] in order to render themselves appealing to the opposite sex.

Copyright © 2011 Victoria Fairclough

[1] N. Ectoff, Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty, (New York: Random House, 2000), p.71

[2] Ectoff, Survival of the Prettiest, p.192

[3] Ectoff, Survival of the Prettiest, p.192

[4] Anon., ‘A Paragon of Girls’, in The Dart: The Midland Figaro, issue 390 (Birmingham,England),11th April, 1884

[5] La Belle Assemblée; or, Bell’s Court and Fashionable Magazine, issue 67 (London,England),1st June, 1830, p.234

[6] Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, p.100

[7] Anon., ‘Fashionable Suicide’, in Punch (London,England),19th September, 1863, p.123

[8] The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, (1868), p. 110

[9] S. Grand, The Beth Book (London: Virago, 1980), pp.316-17

[10] Grand, The Beth Book, pp.316-17

[11] Grand, The Beth Book, p.225

[12] Grand, The Beth Book, p.231

[13] Grand, The Beth Book, pp.316-17

[14] Judy (London,England),8th March, 1882

[15] T. Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), p.52

[16] Grand, The Heavenly Twins, p.279

[17] Grand, The Heavenly Twins, p.279

Class and the Corset

14 Aug

One factor that initially encouraged tight-lacing was that dress denoted the social class and moral worth of the wearer. In The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), Thorstein Veblen writes that female dress demonstrates ‘the wearer’s abstinence from productive employment.’[1] The extreme bodily modification and the application of force necessary for achieving a tightly-laced corset had debilitating effects upon the wearer, and consequently, a small waist came to be synonymous with the leisured classes. Veblen explains that ‘[t]he corset is, in economic theory, substantially a mutilation, undergone for the purpose of lowering the subject’s vitality and rendering her permanently and obviously unfit for work.’[2] Only a woman who had no need to be economically or domestically productive could afford such a restriction upon her movement and be reduced to a quasi-invalid, suffering from ‘headaches, and other lady-like maladies, that appear the almost exclusive privilege of women in the higher classes’.[3] Yet, when the fashion was adopted by the middle classes, the aristocracy discontinued their tight-lacing in order to distinguish themselves from those of a lower social class. This proved to be an inconvenience, however, one correspondent of Punch (1869) complaining that:

my maid has the impertinence to follow the new fashion, and is getting quite unfit for work through her tight-lacing. When I tell her to run up-stairs to fetch a pocket-hand-kerchief, she moves as slow and stiffly as I do myself, and comes down panting so that she can hardly gasp an answer to my questions. Then she constantly is getting nasty stitches in her side, and while she stands to do my hair she often feels so faint that I have to give her sal volatile.[4]

However, these norms changed throughout the century as a small waist – once the indicator of strict morals and high class – became associated with lower class imitation and was subsequently perceived as a sign of vulgarity.

Copyright © 2011 Victoria Fairclough

[1] Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Classes (New York: Dover, 1994), p.105

[2] Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Classes, p.106

[3] C.E. Tonna, Personal Recollections (London: R.B. Seeley and W. Burnside, 1841), in V. Sanders, Records of Girlhood (Hampshire: Ashgate, 2000), p.71

[4] ‘The Torments of Tight-Lacing’, Punch (1869)

The Advent of Ready To Wear Clothing

11 Aug

The invention of the sewing machine during the 1860’s allowed women to make their own clothes at home which resulted in the mass production of ready-to-wear clothes for the middle classes. After the 1860’s, ready-made articles of clothing became more popular,[1] Debenham and Freebody stating that ‘“[t]he increasing taste for Made-up Costumes, in every material, has compelled us to enlarge our Costume Room since last season.”’[2] Ready-made clothes prescribed a figure with which women had to accord, and thus shaped women’s behaviour and the way that they perceived their own bodies.

Since home-made garments required patterns, there was more exposure to a pre-constructed and delineated female form. In 1850 ‘the World of Fashion began to include, in each month’s issue, a collection of patterns “in order that ladies of distinction and their dressmakers may possess the utmost facilities for constructing their costumes with the most approved Taste in the Highest and most perfect Style of Fashion”’.[3] It was not only ‘ladies of distinction’ who used patterns, however, as shortly afterwards they were made available to the masses. These patterns were versatile and could be altered to suit a range of dimensions: the Young Ladies’ Journal (1885) included free paper patterns that ‘unless otherwise ordered, are supplied a medium size and are so perfectly cut that they can be readily adapted to suit any figure.’[4] Le Follet (1888) describes the dimensions for sizes in bodice patterns:

[w]ith these four patterns, a dressmaker will be able to fit all her customers with at most some slight alteration, instead  of having to cut a new pattern for each…The sizes are: small, 23 waist, 36 bust; medium, 25 waist, 39 bust; large, 29 waist, 43 bust; very large, 33 waist, 46 bust.[5]

Measurements that were more or less than the stated sizes were perceived as significant deviations from the normal standards for the nineteenth century female figure.

With the advent of ready-made clothing, a fundamental change occurred in the relationship between women and their apparel. Clothing came to shape the woman, rather than the woman’s body dictating the measurements of her garments. The introduction of ready-made clothes and corsets designed in specific sizes indicated the presence of an ideal that the female body should aspire to reach. This ideal was associated with moral and aesthetic concepts in which slenderness was associated with beauty and passivity and a small waist with delicacy. Failure to meet these standards, or to select the most fashionable clothing had the potential for social disaster, as reflected in Hardy’s hyperbole when describing Lucetta’s difficult sartorial decision: ‘[i]t was finally decided by Miss Templeman that she would be the cherry-coloured person at all hazards.’[6] Clothing was the shaping force of the body with a power to alter individual identity so great that Miss Templeman deems it potentially costly for her to decide upon the wrong gown.

Copyright © 2011 Victoria Fairclough

[1] J. Flanders, Consuming Passions: Leisure and Pleasure in Victorian Britain (London: Harper Press, 2006), p.65

[2] Adburgham, Shops and Shopping 1800-1914, p.135

[3] Adburgham, Shops and Shopping 1800-1914, p.115 quotation from World of Fashion, August, 1850

[4] Adburgham, Shops and Shopping 1800-1914, p.121

[5] Anon., ‘To Professional and Amateur Dressmakers’, issue 505
Le Follet: Journal du Grand Monde, Fashion, Polite Literature, Beaux Arts &c. &c. (London,England), 1st September, 1888

[6] Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge, pp.155-6

The Victorian Wasp-Waist

11 Aug

The Victorian ideal of female beauty was characterised in an 1871 issue of Le Follet as ‘Height, five feet and so many inches; age, five-and-twenty, more or less;  figure, slight and undulating.’[1] This standard to which nineteenth century women aspired was extremely narrow-waisted. According to one pattern for a bodice, an ‘ordinary figure’ will fit a woman measuring ‘24 inches round the waist.’[2] For those who wished to reduce their waist size, it was possible to do so using various methods, the most common being tight-lacing. The dimensions of tight-lacing are provided in Beauty and Hygiene for Women and Girls (1893), which states that ‘twice round the throat for once round the waist, [gives] a waist of from twenty-three to twenty-four inches.’[3] References to the ‘small of the waist’[4] pervade contemporary ladies’ magazines such as The World of Fashion and Continental Feuilletons, which advises that attention can be drawn to this area by means of jewellery, or a ribbon ‘that incircles the waist’ [sic].[5] For those who did not wish to engage in the potentially harmful practice of tight-lacing, it was possible to create the illusion of a small waist by altering its shape ‘from oval to round’.[6] This effect can be achieved by using the ‘Fairy Belt’ that:

slightly presses the sides of the waist without pain or inconvenience, and by so doing shortens the lines of the front and back, and produces the effect, as far as appearance goes, of the waist being at least two inches smaller.[7]

A further means by which the Victorian woman could appear narrow waisted was by increasing the size of other articles of dress, thus creating the impression of trimness in contrast to shawls, wide sleeves and crinoline skirts. Myra’s Journal of Dress and Fashion (1879) relates how the waist can be made to appear smaller by adding to the hips:

[l]adies with slender figures, who wish to make the most of a small waist, wear Juic bodices with long points and full panniers, which by adding to the apparent size of the hips, diminish the waist.[8]

In addition, the crinoline that appeared in 1854 and the bustle that became popular in 1880 created curves, by which the waist seemed narrower in contrast. Following these came the advent of large sleeves that produced a similar effect, Alison Adburgham recording that ‘by 1893 the bustle had completely disappeared and leg of mutton sleeves had blown themselves out into balloon sleeves of even greater size.’[9]


Copyright © 2011 Victoria Fairclough

[1] Anon., ‘There are Three Ways of Describing the Appearance of a Beautiful Woman’, Le Follet: Journal du Grand Monde, Fashion, Polite Literature, Beaux Arts &c. &c., issue 297 (London, England), 1st June, 1871

[2] Young England: An Illustrated Magazine (1889), p.208

[3] Beauty and Hygiene for Women and Girls (1893), p.58

[4] The World of Fashion and Continental Feuilletons, issue 38 (London,England),1st July, 1827, p.153

[5] The World of Fashion and Continental Feuilletons (1827), p.153

[6] Anon., ‘At the Shops’, in Hearth and Home: An Illustrated Weekly Journal for Gentlewomen, issue 174 (London, England), 13th September, 1894

[7] Anon., ‘it is very certain that beauty, as well as the apparent size of a waist depends far more on its shape than on its dimensions’, in Le Follet: Journal du Grand Monde, Fashion, Polite Literature, Beaux Arts &c. &c. issue 577, (London, England), 1st September, 1894

[8] M. Goubaud, ‘Dress and Fashion in Paris’, Myra’s Journal of Dress and Fashion, issue 7 (London,England),1st July, 1879, p.145

[9] Adburgham, Shops and Shopping, p.225