- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (December 15, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226318834
- ISBN-13: 978-0226318837
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,815,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Men in Black 1st Edition
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From Library Journal
In this thoughtful, scholarly work, Harvey (English, Cambridge) explores the use of the color black in menswear in Western Europe during the last 500 years. By numerous quotations and illustrations from historical and literary sources, he proves his thesis that black, ostensibly a symbol of piety, humility, or sorrow, was actually a form of "power dressing." From early clergy, Renaissance kings, and aristocracy through the 19th-century middle class, when it seemed that all men wore it, black connoted financial, social, or political success. As women gained power of their own in this century, so did they, too, adopt "basic black" for more than just mourning. Harvey examines the place of black in today's multihued culture. Arguably the best contribution to the growing body of literature on the meaning of clothes and colors (joining the works of Anne Hollander, Fred Davis, et al.), this title is highly recommended for academic and specialized collections.
Therese D. Baker, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Men began wearing black for all occasions during the early part of the nineteenth century. Harvey, a lecturer at the University of Cambridge, analyzes this somber color preference from several intriguing perspectives. He conducts a deft but detailed survey of the wearing of black in Europe over the centuries, noting that black has long been the color of mourning and that its use was further restricted by the difficulty and expense of the manufacture of black cloth. Once the Industrial Revolution got under way, black cloth became readily available and very popular. Many writers of the day, especially Dickens and Baudelaire, reflected on the implications of this funereal trend, a theme Harvey explores in extended chapters of literary analysis. He also discusses the work of such painters as Manet, Tissot, and Sargent and their interpretation of the power of black clothing: its authority, elegance, sexuality, melancholy, and romance and how it worked in sharp contrast to women's airy white attire. As Harvey's history progresses, he tracks the emergence of black in women's fashion and discusses religious and military garb as well as the twentieth-century black-leather mystique. A touch academic but the subject is irresistible. Donna Seaman --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.