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Corsets & Codpieces

Have you ever wondered why we wear the type of clothes we do? Packed with outlandish outfits, this exciting history of British fashion trends reveals the flamboyant fashions adopted (and discarded) by our ancestors. In the days before cosmetic surgery, people used bum rolls and bombastic breeches to augment their figures; painted their faces with poisonous concoctions; and doused themselves with scent to cover body odour. Take a fresh look at history's hidden fashion disasters and discover the stories behind historical garments: * How removing a Medieval woman's headdress could reveal her as a harlot * Why Tudor men traded in their over-sized codpieces for corsets * The ridiculous roof-raising results of four-foot high Georgian headgear * How the crinoline caused a spate of shoplifting among Victorian ladies Karen Bowman charts our sartorial history from the animal skins first used to cover our modesty and show off hunting skills, right up to the 20th century drive for practicality and comfort. A fascinating read for fashionistas and history fans alike.
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About the Author

KAREN BOWMAN is the author of Essex Girls (2010) and Essex Boys (forthcoming, 2013). She is a member of the Society of Women Writers & Journalists and has written articles for Essex Life & Countryside, Cambridgeshire Life and British Life magazines, as well as short stories for Seven Pens Press. Karen is also a frequent public speaker on historical subjects, including fashion. Her website is

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