Ever since Eve's first blush, clothes have girded, graced and transformed the female physique. Fascinating and insightful, The Corset and the Crinoline is an illustrated history of clothing's attendant underpinnings — especially those that whittled the female waist to its most slender proportions. Reproduced from a rare 1868 fashion publication, each page reveals how the use of wood, whalebone, steel, hoops, and tight laces had a gripping influence on shaping the figures of women from ancient Greece to nineteenth-century Vienna. Enlivened by excerpts from authentic letters, magazine articles, and satiric poems, over fifty exquisite black-and-white engravings highlight the wardrobes — and what was worn underneath them — of a Persian dancing girl, an ancient Egyptian woman, a Roman lady of high rank, Queen Elizabeth, Marie de Medici, a woman of the French revolutionary period, and many more. Costume designers, artists, and anyone interested in the history of fashion will be captivated!