Danger & Delight: Women and Consumer Culture in Mid-Century London & Paris
Keywords:History of Consumer Culture, Fashion and Modernity, Mid-Nineteenth Century Gender and Sexuality, History of Shopping, Street Harassment, Mid-Nineteenth Century London, Mid-Nineteenth Century Paris, History of Shoplifting
The mid-nineteenth-century mushrooming of consumer culture sparked a transformation of London and Paris and bestowed newfound mobility upon its female inhabitants. Urban commercial spaces such as the nascent department store were billed as safe havens for the unchaperoned lady. In actuality, the Victorian public sphere symbolised a double-edged sword: it conjured up sites of delight that any class of woman could frequent, offering an overdue escape from the tedium of home, yet it also exposed them to unprecedented sexual danger; spawning incidents (downplayed as ‘street annoyances’ or ‘impertinences’) for which female victims were habitually blamed. Stretching from streetwalkers to the bourgeoisie, this essay explores the complex relationship between mid-nineteenth-century women and consumer culture in London and Paris.
• Balducci, Temma. Gender, Space, and the Gaze in Post-Haussmann Visual Culture: Beyond the Flâneur. Abingdon: Routledge, 2017.
• Bellavitis, Anna. Women’s Work and Rights in Early Modern Urban Europe. Berlin: Springer, 2018.
• Benjamin, Walter. The Arcades Project. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999.
• Berry, Helen. “Polite Consumption: Shopping in Eighteenth-Century England.” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 12 (2002): 375-394.
• Best, Kate Nelson. The History of Fashion Journalism. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017. Cawthorne, Nigel. The Strange Laws Of Old England. London: Hachette UK, 2015.
• Chu, Petra ten-Doesschate and Dixon, Laurinda. Twenty-first-century Perspectives on Nineteenth-century Art. Newark: University of Delaware, 2008.
• Churchill, David. Crime Control and Everyday Life in the Victorian City: The Police and the Public. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.
• Clayson, Hollis. Painted Love: Prostitution in French Art of the Impressionist Era. Santa Monica: Getty Publications, 2003.
• De Young, Justine. Fashion in European Art: Dress and Identity, Politics and the Body, 1775-1925. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017.
• Di Leonardo, Micaela. “Political Economy of Street Harassment.” Aegis (Summer 1981): 51-57.
• Fuchs, Rachel G. and Thompson, Victoria E. Women in Nineteenth-Century Europe. London: Macmillan International Higher Education: 2004
• Garis, Robert. The Nineteenth Century: The British Isles, 1815-1901. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
• Groom, Gloria. Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 2012.
• Hahn, H. Hazel. Scenes of Parisian Modernity: Culture and Consumption in the Nineteenth Century. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
• Iskin, Ruth. Modern Women and Parisian Consumer Culture in Impressionist Painting. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
• Kovesi, Dr. Catherine. “Brought to Heel? A Short History of Failed Attempts to Bring Down the High-Heeled Shoe in Venice and beyond.” Vestoj 6 (Autumn 2015): 65-69.
• Lysack, Krista. Come Buy, Come Buy: Shopping and the Culture of Consumption in Victorian Women’s Writing. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2008.
• McGee, Diane. A Passion for Fashion: Antique, Collectible, and Retro Clothes. Omaha: Simmons-Boardman Books, 1987.
• McNeil, Peter. Pretty Gentlemen: Macaroni Men and the Eighteenth-century Fashion World. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018.
• Miller, Daniel. A Theory of Shopping. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005.
• Miller, Michael B. The Bon Marche: Bourgeois Culture and the Department Store, 1869-1920. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014.
• Mullin, Catherine. James Joyce, Sexuality and Social Purity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
• Orr, Clarissa Campbell. Women in the Victorian art world. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995.
• O’Neill, Louise. “My outfit is not an invitation for comment or for assault. Women are never asking for it.” The Irish Examiner, 12th November, 2016. https://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/my-outfit is-not-an-invitation-for-comment-or-for-assault-women-are-never-asking-for-it-430279.html
• Paulicelli, Eugenia. Writing Fashion in Early Modern Italy: From Sprezzatura to Satire. Abingdon: Routledge, 2014.
• Petrov, Julia and Whitehead, Gudrun D. Fashioning Horror: Dressing to Kill on Screen and in Literature. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017.
• Rappaport, Erika Diane. Shopping for Pleasure: Women in the Making of London’s West End. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.
• Richmond, Vivienne. Clothing the Poor in Nineteenth-Century England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
• Rose, Sonya and Frader, Laura Levine. Gender and Class in Modern Europe. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996.
• Rubinstein, David. Before the Suffragettes: Women’s Emancipation in the 1890s. Brighton: Harvester Press, 1986.
• Safronova, Valeriya. “Lawyer in Rape Trial Links Thong With Consent, and Ireland Erupts.” The New York Times, 15th November, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/15/world/europe/ ireland-underwear-rape-case-protest.html
• Schwartz, Vanessa R. and Przyblyski, Jeannene M. The Nineteenth-century Visual Culture Reader. London: Psychology Press: 2004.
• Segrave, Kerry. Shoplifting: A Social History. Jefferson: McFarland, 2001.
• Simon, Marie. Fashion in Art. The Second Empire and Impressionism. London: Philip Wilson Publishers, 1995.
• Swanwick, Helena M. I Have Been Young. Gollancz: London, 1935.
• Tomka, Béla. A Social History of Twentieth-Century Europe. Abingdon: Routledge, 2013.
• Trentmann, Frank. The Oxford Handbook of the History of Consumption. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
• Valverde, Mariana. “The Love of Finery: Fashion and the Fallen Woman in Nineteenth-Century Social Discourse.” Victorian Studies 32, no. 2 (Winter 1989): 168-188.
• van de Pol, Lotte. The Burgher and the Whore: Prostitution in Early Modern Amsterdam. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
• Walkowitz, Judith R. City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late-Victorian London. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.
• Walkowitz, Judith R. “Going Public: Shopping, Street Harassment, and Streetwalking in Late Victorian London.” Representations 62 (Spring 1998): 1-30.
• Whitlock, Tammy C. Crime, Gender and Consumer Culture in Nineteenth-Century England. Abingdon: Routledge, 2016.