Following up some more on chapter 5 of Eight Cousins (A Belt and a Box), another member of the Louisa May Alcott Society, Melissa M. Pennell, Ph.D., Professor of English, UMass Lowell, Lowell, MA provided some texts from the 19th and 20th centuries (including two by Bronson Alcott’s cousin, Dr. William Alcott) if you wanted to read more. Several of these books are available on Amazon and/or Google Books:
Some 19th Century Texts
- Alcott, William A. Tightlacing (Health Tracts No. 9) Boston, 1841.
- Alcott, William A. The Young Woman’s Book of Health. Boston, 1850.
- Dietrick, E.B. “Male and female attire in various nations and ages; a defense of dress reform,” Arena 10 (August 1894): 353-65
- Fowler, Orson Squire. “The evils of tightlacing” in his Phrenology and Physiology Explained and Applied to Matrimony. New York, 1842.
- Livermore, Mary Ashton Rice. What Shall We Do with our Daughters and other lectures. Boston, 1883.
- Phelps, Elizabeth Stuart. What to Wear? Boston: 1873.
- Russell, F.E. “American Dress-Reform Movements of the Past, with a view of representative women.” Arena 6 (August 1892):325-39.
20th Century texts:
- Kesselman, Amy. “The Freedom Suit’: Feminism and Dress Reform in the United States, 1848-1875”Gender and Society 5 (1991): 495-510.
- Leavitt, Judith Walzer. Women and Health in America: Historical Readings. Madison: U Wisconsin Pr, 1984.
- Verbrugge, Martha H. Able-bodied Womanhood: Personal Health and Social Change in 19th Century Boston. NY: Oxford UP, 1988.
My thanks to Dr. Pennell who, in the midst of grading mid-terms, generously gave of her time.
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