Read Victorian Secrets: What a Corset Taught Me about the Past, the Present, and Myself by Sarah A. Chrisman Online


On Sarah A Chrismans twenty ninth birthday, her husband, Gabriel, presented her with a corset The material and the design were breathtakingly beautiful, but her mind immediately filled with unwelcome views Although she had been in love with the Victorian era all her life, she had specifically asked her husband not to buy her a corsetever Shed heard how corsets affected the female body and what they represented, and she wanted none of it.However, Chrisman agreed to try on the garment and found it surprisingly enjoyable The corset, she realized, was a tool of empowermentnot oppression After a year of wearing a corset on a daily basis, her waist had gone from thirty two inches to twenty two inches, she was experiencing fewer migraines, and her posture improved She had successfully transformed her body, her dress, and her lifestyle into that of a Victorian womanand everyone was asking about it.In Victorian Secrets, Chrisman explains how a garment from the past led to a change in not only the way she viewed herself, but also the ways she understood the major differences between the cultures of twenty first century and nineteenth century America The desire to delve further into the Victorian lifestyle provided Chrisman with new insight into issues of body image and how women, past and present, have seen and continue to see themselves....

Title : Victorian Secrets: What a Corset Taught Me about the Past, the Present, and Myself
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1628735627
ISBN13 : 978-1628735628
Format Type : Audio Book
Language : Englisch
Publisher : Skyhorse Publishing Auflage 1 1 November 2013
Number of Pages : 499 Pages
File Size : 688 KB
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Victorian Secrets: What a Corset Taught Me about the Past, the Present, and Myself Reviews

  • Spiegelkind
    2019-02-08 02:55

    Sarah Chrisman took to wearing corsets and wrote a book about it. Actually, I was really looking forward to reading this book. I have a lifelong interest in historical clothing and have dabbled in period costume for twenty years. Someone wearing the style of yesteryear day in, day out in their everyday lives sounded intriguing. Unfortunately, there are two things I don't like about this book.First of all, I've hardly ever read a book written by such an unlikeable person as Sarah Chrisman. She reports incidents that have nothing at all to do do with wearing a corset but are just plain bad manners on her side: telling about a hostess' unfortunate incident with a cake, an admittedly rude passer-by who ,so she tells us, is an "idiot" (as in her opinion many people she meets are) and as a "clueless idiot" isn't "worth assault charges. (...)Had there been no danger of legal remifications, I would have gladly beaten the obnoxious stranger to a pulp."People who share her interest in historical clothing are not exempt from sniding remarks. A neon blue polyester dress increases her headache but when she decides to don a polar-fleece petticoat for warmth that is ok. Partly I guess because it's underwear, partly because a real wool petticoat is expensive and "must be budgeted". So maybe the "lady in electric blue" has to put two kids through college, pay for her mother's nursing home, mortgages on her house? Who knows. There are different levels of dedication and not everyone is willing to pay for real silk, real wool. Sarah Chrisman tells us that it's no-one's business what she wears or does with her body but doesn't extend this right to even the dress of others. If maybe "the lady in blue" just had the decency to approach the so much better dressed Chrismans in their original clothing with a humble attitude! But she actually rises above her position and tells the Chrismans "you can't wear real antiques! You'll ruin them.". This is one of two opinions widely spread among costumers but is dismissed as "uneducated wrath" here. The Chrismans belong to the second group who think wearing originals teaches us more about the past and it's their propery anyway. No problem with that. But then Sarah Chrisman decides to wear an antique petticoat to a costume event which includes a four-hour bus ride in a torrential downpour. On her way home she tears this petticoat. Does it make her think about wearing antiques on a daily basis? No, it doesn'.t Instead we are given a lengthy rant about an "idiot woman bus driver" (there she goes again), an "ignorant brute" with a "very low-class Southern accent". This woman was actually trying to help and probably didn't expect someone to wear a valuable historical piece of clothing on her bus but never mind. If only we still lived in the times when "any gentleman seeing the attack would have dragged the savage forcibly before the nearest magistrate, while administering a suitable number of justified and well-placed blows".A senior citizen about to use a public lavatory set up as dressing room for the Chrismans is slandered as "Grandma Biddy", "crone" and in the author's opinion has the probable "intend to urinate all over my precious antiques".Then there is this rendering of a conversation between the Chrismans which was at least good for a laugh on my part. Sarah: "The women looked different because they were wearing corsets!" to which the wise Gabriel answers mildly: "Oh, I know. It's not like humans spontaneously evolved into drastically different creatures when corsets went out of style. But people don't understand that."No, of course not. We are all so dumb and clueless and haven't been double majoring in international studies and French (like Sarah) or earned a degree in library science (like Gabriel). Additionally, we seem to be challenged regarding our concentration span because Sarah Chrisman keeps refering to their degrees repeatedly and randomly lest we forget them. A fashion show at a senior citizen home is "polyester on parade. The Horror." and Sarah Chrisman and her husband shudder and exchange looks because they are so superior to all that. A charity event for seniors is NOT a lecture on historical clothing in Oxford or Cambridge, it is mostly for fun. The commentary was not telling a "volume of lies" because part of telling a lie is that you know the truth and try to conceal it which he obviously didn't. Someone who volunteers to help out in a charity event might not be an international luminary on the subject but no-one should be surprised at that.The second reason I was disappointed is that there wasn't much substantial information on wearing a corset at all. I've learned something new about breath patterns with a restricted waist but that's about it. At no point does Sarah Chrisman explain why she doesn't wear a (historically acurate) chemise under her corset. Instead she lengthily tells us how performing a dressing sequence is so dangerous because her breasts might fall out of the corset.No additional information on living like a Victorian is given at all. From online interviews I expected first-hand experiences using castille soap, copying historical hairstyles, cooking in the fashion of the 19th century, sewing by hand, using original patterns. If you are looking for information like this Sarah Chrisman's book is the wrong place to turn to.

  • ayumi
    2019-02-05 03:16

    Das Buch war sehr leicht zu verstehen also für jeden deutschen empfehlenswert. Kam mit meinem Schulenglisch bestens klar.Lady Chrisman ist eine erstaunliche Frau, wunderschön und ich habe es sehr genossen sie auf ihrer Reise zu begleiten. Ich selbst trage Korsetts und liebe Röcke und elegante Kleidung. Das Buch ist nicht sehr informativ da hätte ich mir mehr gewünscht. Aber es ist lustig und mitreisend, ich bereue nichts =)Lady Chrisman is an amazin woman. She is so beautiful and I enjoyed to read from her journey. I also wear corsets and skirts and I like elegant dresses etc. The book is more about her experience corsets and fashion it is not very informative, which made me kind of sad because I always like to read knew things about corsets. It was funny and I enjoyed every single page. I could read it over and over again. I don't regret my purchase =)

  • Erin G
    2019-01-30 03:22

    I was excited to read this book and initially enjoyed it. However, the author's sanctimonious, self-righteous and downright negative personality became the only thing I was able to take away from this book. Nearly every interaction she has with other people besides her corset-obsessed husband is completely negative and downright strange. She goes off on random rants berating everyone around her for things that literally have nothing to do with the subject matter. This book comes off as a petty diary of an immature girl's teenage years while she also happens to be wearing a corset. I really wish I could mention a redeeming quality about this book. I want to so badly because - hello - Victoriana, corsets, early 1900s fashion- what isn't there to love? Unfortunately, nothing

  • Anne Ford
    2019-02-05 05:08

    The author's consistently negative, judgmental tone far outweighed any pleasure I found in the historical information she imparts or the personal experiences she relates. This book is essentially a collection of condescending anecdotes in which she makes nasty remarks to or about people who (among other things) are elderly; are out of shape; wear polyester; offer her pain medication after she's broken her foot (the NERVE!); offer her a ride in a car with uncomfortable seats; and/or accidentally rip her petticoat while trying to help her board a bus. Pity, because this is a fascinating subject, and she's clearly quite knowledgable about the era. But nothing can compensate for such a dislikable narrator.

  • Rebecca Barber
    2019-02-02 03:57

    The author does a beautiful job at describing the physical & mental effects of a corset. However, in the most important lessons in life she is a total contradiction. She asks that unknowledgable people not pass judgement on her as she lives her corseted life, but then proceeds to call medical personnel drug pushers when she is offered pain medication after she breaks her foot. What she doesn't know is that adequate pain control is a top priority, but not for the reasons she supposes. She is so proud of herself for dealing with the pain that she actually put her life in danger. Broken bones put people at risk for developing blood clots due to inactivity. She even reports in her book that after she got home she laid flat with her foot elevated. Pain medication is given to make the patient comfortable enough to move through their daily activities so that lethal blood clots do not develop.Furthermore she hates when people pass judgment on her, but refers to a bus driver as low class southern. She speaks of wanting to physically harm others when they fault her. She declares that some people are "alphas" in life due to their clothing, and supposes poor people wouldn't purchase respectable clothing, and rich people would seldom wear a Wal-mart tee shirt. She makes fun of those who share her love of Victorian fashions, but whose means dictate that they replicate the clothing with modern materials. She applauds the shrinking of religious ideals in the U.S. then later speaks of her creator given attributes.Honestly at the beginning of the book, I really liked her. By the end, I am convinced that the girth she lost in her waist merely transported itself above her shoulders giving her the big head she has by the end. Whether it's corsets, a tongue piercing, or breast implants, if it makes their owner happy then to each their own. What did I find through her journey? A hoity-toity witch who passes judgement on others while requesting that everyone applaud her decisions and lifestyle choices. Someone who is knowledgable in some areas, and then deludes herself into thinking she is knowledgable in everything. Someone who now thinks they are better than everyone else (see her first description of going through airport security in a corset). Man! Talk about putting on airs! She is so full of herself! You get what you give girlfriend, and it's really sad you gave so much disrespect to others based on money, class, race, etc. because the history and story of the actual corset was great...unfortunately she also talked about herself.

  • Ashley L.
    2019-02-02 04:54

    Ordered a used copy and received a nice signed copy. I like Sarah Chrisman and what she's doing and her attitude towards living your life how you want to. But she does come off as snarky and rude with a bit of a holier-than-thou attitude in her quest to sound more Victorian. Especially calling someone's accent low-class when she doesn't sound so high-class herself, if you ever hear her speak or see her videos online. It's a nice book to get a glimpse into the start of her corset wearing new life but I wouldn't recommend it if you can't deal with people who like to come off as more superior than others because of their life choices.