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Diane Publishing Books
Men in Black: Picturing History Series
John Harvey (au)
Menís clothes went black in the 19th cent. The change in look was commented on by writers of the time: Dickens, Ruskin & Baudelaire all asked why it was that men wanted to dress as if going to a funeral. Over the last 1,000 years there have been successive expansions in the wearing of black. Though the black fashion was often elegant, the growth & extensions of it were fed by dark currents in Europeís history -- its politics, its asceticism, its religious warfare between Catholics & Calvinists. In the 19th cent. that fashion fully came into its own; a connection between the taste for black & the forms of constraint with which European society regimented itself. In the 20th cent., black has retained its authority as well as its association with strength & cruelty. Illus.
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