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Lost Girls: The Invention of the Flapper (Paperback)
  • Lost Girls: The Invention of the Flapper (Paperback)
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Lost Girls: The Invention of the Flapper (Paperback)

(author)
£9.99
Paperback 296 Pages / Published: 11/03/2019
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In the glorious, boozy party after the first World War, a new being burst defiantly onto the world stage: the so-called flapper. Young, impetuous, and flirtatious, she was an alluring, controversial figure, celebrated in movies, fiction, plays, and the pages of fashion magazines. But, as this book argues, she didn't appear out of nowhere. This spirited, beautifully illustrated history presents a fresh look at the reality of young women's experiences in America and Britain from the 1890s to the 1920s, when the "modern" girl emerged. Linda Simon shows us how this modern girl bravely created a culture, a look, and a future of her own. Lost Girls is an illuminating history of the iconic flapper as she evolved from a problem to a temptation, and finally, in the 1920s and beyond, to an aspiration.

Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 9781789140712
Number of pages: 296
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Social anxieties have a way of coalescing around young women's bodies, Simon demonstrates in Lost Girls, her riveting, deeply-researched counter-history of the flapper. Behind the beads, the bob, the fringe, and the Charleston, there is a much darker story to be told."--Lauren Elkin, author of Fl neuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London
"'The iconic, mythic, post-war flapper, ' writes Simon in her involving social history of the phenomenon, 'emerged from a culture obsessed with the adolescent girl: as a problem, a temptation and finally, in the 1920s and beyond, an aspiration.' . . . Lost Girls is a scholarly treatise on what at first glance would seem a frivolous subject. . . . Simon has come up with a great deal of fascinating information and her research is impressive."--Moira Hodgson "Wall Street Journal "
"Rich in surprise connections and creepy quotes, Lost Girls illuminates a modernist aspiration to blur gender and age that was simultaneously abetted and repressed by a deeply confused society."--Times Literary Supplement
"Simon's new book, Lost Girls, is not about this visceral fantasy of loose girls in drop waists. Instead, it's a careful, sometimes gritty look at exactly how British and American women rose from a Victorian world of corsets and social constraints to one in which they could at least imagine they wielded as much power as men. . . . It's clear she is a gifted researcher, and each piece of information she provides seems to bloom with nuance and careful understanding of the time, place, and people she writes about."--Washington Independent Review of Books
"The flapper is famous for her style, not her substance. . . . But the history of the flapper goes back further than such pop narratives would have us believe. In her book Lost Girls, historian Simon traces the prehistory of the term, and positions the eventual emergence of these wild gals as the end of a generation-long cultural wrangling over female adolescence and female power. . . . Simon also deftly illustrates the ways that American and British society created the conundrum represented by the flapper."--Nina Renata Aron "Timeline "
"For Simon, the origins of the flapper of the 1920s are to be found in the social constructs and literature of the nineteenth century--as limned by writers such as Mark Twain, who was fascinated with adolescent and sometimes prepubescent girls, whom he dubbed 'angelfish.' Female adolescents fascinated US thinkers and leaders, most notably for their importance as the future wives and mothers of the nation. For nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century American society, it was critical to control these wonderful young women so they could become the good mothers and wives that the nation needed. Simon sees the flappers of the 1920s as a reaction against the restrictions of the late nineteenth century. The upheaval of the post-WW I period made the existence of the flapper possible. Coupled with Joshua Zeitz's Flapper, Lost Girls provides a complete account of the young women of the 1920s and their origins. . . . Recommended."--Choice
"Lost Girls finds an irresistible history of many girls. They longed to be modern, New Women, and in the Jazz Age, transgressive flappers. They wanted to dance, go to the movies, dress freely, work, be independent, and even vote. Arrayed against them were parents, scientists, politicians, and an imprisoning cult of motherhood. Simon, with verve and wit and eloquence, shows us their battles, scars, and victories--a vibrant legacy for the twenty-first century."--Catharine R. Stimpson, New York University

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