Author(s): Carol Dyhouse
How do we understand "Glamour"? Has it empowered women or turned them into objects? Once associated with modernity and the cutting edge, is it entirely bound up with nostalgia and tradition? This unique and fascinating book tells the story of glamour. It explores the changing meanings of the word, its relationship to femininity and fashion, and its place in twentieth century social history. Using a rich variety of sources - from women's magazines and film to social surveys and life histories - Carol Dyhouse examines with wit and insight the history and meaning of costume, cosmetics, perfume and fur. Dyhouse disentangles some of the arguments surrounding femininity, appearance and power, directly addressing feminist concerns. The book explores historical contexts in which glamour served as an expression of desire in women and an assertion of entitlement to the pleasures of affluence, finally arguing that glamour can't simply be dismissed as oppressive, or as male fantasy, but can carry celebratory meanings for women.
About the author:
Carol Dyhouse is a social historian. Her research has focused on gender, education and the pattern of women's lives in nineteenth and twentieth century Britain. Her books include Girls Growing Up in late Victorian and Edwardian England (1981); Feminism and the Family in England, 1890-1939, (1989); No Distinction of Sex? Women in British Universities (1995); and Students: A Gendered History (2006). An interest in clothing and material culture, and the ways in which these relate to changing ideas about femininity, led to work on the subject of glamour, its controversial status within feminism, and its meanings to women in history. Carol Dyhouse is currently a Research Professor in History at the University of Sussex.