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Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge by [Woodhead, Lindy]
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Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 191 customer reviews

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Length: 336 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Harry Selfridge revolutionised the way we shop.”—Daily Mail

“Will change your view of shopping forever.”—Vogue

About the Author

Lindy Woodhead worked in international fashion public relations for over twenty-five years and in the late 80s became the first woman on the board of directors of Harvey Nichols. Her first book, War Paint: The Biography of Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, was published in 2004.

Product Details

  • File Size: 7775 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; Reprint edition (February 12, 2013)
  • Publication Date: February 12, 2013
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AD6R7SE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,623 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
i bought the book having seen the first episode of the ITV production and was intrigued by the story knowing almost nothing about the history of the store. Lindy Woodhead writes in a style which is both easy to read and also contains fascinating comments about London society and the history of retailing. Selfridge comes across as a larger than life character , ahead of his time in terms of his understanding of consumer demands , skilful in his analysis of fashion, social trends and creating the "shopping experience ". His fall from grace and the loss of his store following shareholder pressure ,as gambling and squandering money on starlets dominates his later life, is a sad finale but somehow seems to fit with the character that he was and the world he created around the store. An excellent read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I went looking for this book after watching the Masterpiece Theater series that is based on it, "Selfridge". I found it enjoyable to read, thoroughly researched, and generally well written. I thought the author struck the right biographical balance between Selfridge himself and his times and the context around him. It contrasts with the series which, understandably as it is TV, has many more plots with little connection to Selfridge himself and a lot more emphasis on romance and sex than you will find in here. I was more interested in the way he changed retail culture and that was also the focus of this book, so I liked it a lot. The author has done a great deal of research and I felt confident I was reading a fairly accurate account. It read pretty briskly, as well, although toward the end, once the store is established, the narrative loses some steam and many paragraphs consist mainly of lists of things that happened in a particular year relevant to the store. Still, it held my interest consistently and was overall a well-done biography that I am glad I read.
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Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating account of the life and times of Harry Gordon Selfridge. It covers not just his career, but the changing fashions and world events that accompanied it, and the twin passions that fuelled his existence, and led ultimately to his downfall. The author lays bare Harry's double life; he was a widower with four children, and always appeared to be a very correct Edwardian gentleman. He never exercised droit de seigneur in the store, but his private life was a different matter, and the story is peppered with the names of showgirls on whom he lavished his affections, and showered with gifts.

Lindy Woodhead is an excellent guide on matters sartorial and cosmetic, but when it comes to the showbiz side of the story she is less assured. In 1910, we're informed, the public was dancing to big-band music, then buying phonograph wax cylinders to play the music at home (soon superseded by pressed discs in cardboard sleeves, courtesy of Columbia Records). In reality, the big-band genre did not appear for a further two decades, and the wax cylinder was already losing ground to the gramophone record by the turn of the century. Sleeves appeared around 1910 with the introduction of double-sided 78s, but the cardboard ones came courtesy of the retailer, manufacturers like Columbia and HMV provided paper sleeves.

On the subject of records, whilst it's true that sides for the Key label, which is mentioned on page 211, were selected by Christopher Stone and pressed by Decca, it's stretching a point to say that these were the top dance band hits of the day, recorded under the store's own label. The label used masters from Panachord and Winner, and only about thirty were issued, during 1933/34, usually under pseudonyms.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is an interesting portrait of the life of Harry Gordon Selfridge (1856-1947) and it is also a story of how retail shopping was both influenced by him and changed in the second half of the nineteenth century. Harry Selfridge did much to change Chicago department store Marshall Field, before being rejected when requesting partnership and deciding to 'go it' alone. He brought his ideas and experience to London where his ideas were always larger than life, excessive and theatrical. His plans were always expensive - as was his lifestyle. He devised so many innovations that they would be impossible to list now, but they are a staple (still) of all department stores - bargain basements, perfume and cosmetics at the front of the store, allowing customers to browse, etc. Sadly, his love of gambling and his flamboyant lifestyle eventually resulted in his empire crumbling, but still his influence is seen today. I think this is an interesting book, not only about Selfridge himself, but also about the times - women's fashions, changing aspirations and an era which is gone forever.
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By KaliGal on January 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've watched the PBS show and bought the DVD set of "Mr. Selfridge" but I wanted to know more about the real life story of this famous man. The book is so much more interesting than the show because real life is much more complicated than anything that a movie producer or screen writer can concoct. I highly recommend it to everyone and especially marketing people.
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