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From the PREFACE.
IN presenting this condensed biography of England's one and only Alfred, the writer wishes it to be understood that it is intended primarily for that large section of the public who, while desiring to be duly posted in current topics, have little time for reading exhaustive treatises, even upon the most important and interesting subjects, outside their own proper spheres of activity. His aim has been to give such a glimpse of the man (whose name is at present upon so many tongues) and of his times as shall convey to the reader, not only the chief facts that History has handed down or Tradition suggested, but more especially an impression of their actuality, there being a confessed tendency abroad to regard our first and greatest national hero rather as a myth than as a veritable man.
As regards Tradition, it may be objected that it scarce deserves a place in History. The writer thinks otherwise. Where there is smoke there is fire. These old tales give us, if not facts, at least the impression which the actors and their acts made upon the minds of those who lived nearest them in time and place. Properly considered, therefore, Tradition may present, as a realistic effort, a more vital idea of a subject than the hard mosaic of History.
The writer has carefully collated the ancient authorities with modern critics. Among the former the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, of course, ranks first in importance; while Asser's 'Life of Alfred' is a good second. Among the latter, Mr. Thomas Hughes and Mr. Freeman have been especially suggestive. The writer also wishes here to acknowledge his indebtedness to many friends in various parts of the country who have sent him local information and illustrations.
With these remarks the writer entrusts this, his first venture in book-making, to the indulgent public, in the hope that it may fill an empty niche in its bookshelf.
Covering the fun, often deliciously risque, history of lingerie, you'll meet the first innerwear-as-outerwear model (a 5000 year old Snake Goddess in a corset!), take a peek beneath the astounding 11 pounds of underpinnings worn by our Victorian sisters, and discover the special sewing secret behind the military-inspired bullet bras of the I940s and 50s.
You'll also see how, in more recent times, Madonna has manipulated the power of underwear to maximum effect. Clad in crinolines and bustiers, she channeled one pan 50s prom queen, one pan Marilyn, and just enough S&M spice to bring lingerie out in the open, helping to launch the innerwear-as-outerwear phenomenon that is such a staple of today's music and fashion.
With its engaging combination of alluring images, fascinating history, and modern musings, Lingerie: a Modern Guide is your one-stop guide to the shapewear that has shaped the world.
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