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The Button Box


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An ingenious tour of domestic and social history over the last century (Guardian) - the story of women in the twentieth century told through the clothes they wore

About the Author

Lynn Knight was born in Derbyshire and lives in London. The women of her family, who have passed on many stories along with beaded bags and buttoned gauntlets, fostered her interest in the texture and narratives of women's lives. She is also the author of the biography Clarice Cliff (2005), and a memoir, Lemon Sherbet and Dolly Blue- The Story of an Accidental Family (2011).


A charming work of social history * Bookseller *
Knight explores her own family's history and, in parallel, the intimate history of women in the 20th century... The politics of being a modern woman are revealed through changing fashions... In Knight's hands, buttons - the humblest of everyday objects - become portals into the past, charting our progress along that road. -- Lucy Moore * Literary Review *
Charming book... Knight's brilliant notion is to use the button box she inherited from her grandmother as a way of delving into the fabric, literal and metaphorical, of the women who wore them... A patchwork of memory, anecdote and deft quotation. -- Daisy Goodwin * The Sunday Times *
Inspired by her own shimmering box of toggles, clasps and buckles, Knight takes us on an ingenious tour of domestic and social history over the last century... From this core of very personal material, Knight writes more generally of ordinary women's lives and changing prospects over three generations, of clothes as self-expression, as defiance, as entertainment, as evidence of frugality and frivolity all rolled into one. -- Claire Harman * Guardian *
The drama of women's lives from the 19th to the mid-20th century was hidden in plain sight among the brightly coloured buttons that rattled so enticingly in [Knight's] grandmother's Quality Street tin... Fascinating social history. -- Jane Shilling * Daily Mail *

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