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Women, Work, and Clothes in the Eighteenth-Century Novel
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Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. The Rhetoric and Materials of Clothes: 1. The ornaments of prose; 2. Paper clothes; Part II. The Practical Habits of Fiction: 3. Shift work; 4. Domestic work; 5. Public work; Afterword: false parts; Bibliography; Index.

Promotional Information

This book charts the novel's vibrant engagement with clothes, examining how fiction revises and reshapes material objects within its pages.

About the Author

Chloe Wigston Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Georgia, where she specializes in eighteenth-century studies. She studied the History of Dress at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Reviews

'A book for collections strong in eighteenth-century studies, fashion history, and material culture ... Highly recommended ... upper-division undergraduates through faculty.' M. E. Burstein, Choice
'... finely illustrated, well researched, and clearly written, plump with telling examples, intriguing details about eighteenth-century dress, and insightful readings, this is a delightful study of the early novel from a new and important perspective.' Barbara M. Benedict, Journal of British Studies
'Women, Work, and Clothes in the Eighteenth-Century Novel tells a poignant story about a small gap in the cultural imagination of dress that was soon stitched closed again. ... In her vivid retracing of a form of productive, buttoned-up femininity impervious to the dictates of both status and style, Wigston Smith shows us something almost unimaginable.' Danielle Bobker, Eighteenth-Century Fiction
'[Wigston Smith's] fresh and intelligent thesis contributes a relevant materiality that literary study generally lacks ... One can use a study like hers to read eighteenth-century satire with a fuller understanding of what might have been meant by the appearance of a seemingly innocent needlewoman or spinster as advisor to a lady of fashion; what the mention of Turkish costume or Indian cotton might suggest beyond simple exoticism, especially when appearing on the wife of a tradesman rather than a lady; or how English wool became a political symbol of national identity.' Carole Sargent, Eighteenth-Century Studies
'Wigston Smith's thorough research into surviving eighteenth-century garments imbues her work with a tactile particularity that is refreshing and illuminating. Her authoritative knowledge of the construction of garments and fabric informs her analysis of literature with rewarding results. ... a must-read for those interested in material culture, particularly clothing, and contributes to gender and genre studies as well.' Ashley Schoppe, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature
'Women, Work, and Clothes in the Eighteenth-Century Novel is an important addition to current critical discourse about the relationship between literature and material culture. In this innovative book, Chloe Wigston Smith shows how the eighteenth-century novel pushes against what had become a traditional figurative relationship between text, dress, and representation.' Alicia Kerfoot, Fashion Theory
"A book for collections strong in eighteenth-century studies, fashion history, and material culture ... Highly recommended ... upper-division undergraduates through faculty." M. E. Burstein, Choice
"... finely illustrated, well researched, and clearly written, plump with telling examples, intriguing details about eighteenth-century dress, and insightful readings, this is a delightful study of the early novel from a new and important perspective." Barbara M. Benedict, Journal of British Studies
"Women, Work, and Clothes in the Eighteenth-Century Novel tells a poignant story about a small gap in the cultural imagination of dress that was soon stitched closed again. ... In her vivid retracing of a form of productive, buttoned-up femininity impervious to the dictates of both status and style, Wigston Smith shows us something almost unimaginable." Danielle Bobker, Eighteenth-Century Fiction
"[Wigston Smith's] fresh and intelligent thesis contributes a relevant materiality that literary study generally lacks ... One can use a study like hers to read eighteenth-century satire with a fuller understanding of what might have been meant by the appearance of a seemingly innocent needlewoman or spinster as advisor to a lady of fashion; what the mention of Turkish costume or Indian cotton might suggest beyond simple exoticism, especially when appearing on the wife of a tradesman rather than a lady; or how English wool became a political symbol of national identity." Carole Sargent, Eighteenth-Century Studies
"Wigston Smith's thorough research into surviving eighteenth-century garments imbues her work with a tactile particularity that is refreshing and illuminating. Her authoritative knowledge of the construction of garments and fabric informs her analysis of literature with rewarding results. ... a must-read for those interested in material culture, particularly clothing, and contributes to gender and genre studies as well." Ashley Schoppe, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature
'Women, Work, and Clothes in the Eighteenth-Century Novel is an important addition to current critical discourse about the relationship between literature and material culture. In this innovative book, Chloe Wigston Smith shows how the eighteenth-century novel pushes against what had become a traditional figurative relationship between text, dress, and representation.' Alicia Kerfoot, Fashion Theory

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