Shoes - An Illustrated History

Author(s): Rebecca Shawcross


From high heels to protective boots, shoes are powerful objects of desire as well as a practical necessity. They are also fascinating indicators of the fashions, social attitudes, and economic backdrop of the times in which they were made and worn. This lavishly illustrated volume takes the reader on a glorious journey through many centuries of footwear from antiquity to the present, showcasing a dazzling array of shoes from all over the world. Written by expert curator Rebecca Shawcross, the book is packed with social and historical detail putting shoe trends, superstitions and traditions in context and exploring shoes as symbolic and highly personal objects which evoke a time, place and an emotion. Shoes: An Illustrated History is the definitive guide to footwear from fetish heels to winklepickers and a must-read for students, researchers and anyone interested in fashion.


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A beautifully illustrated and accessible overview of the history of shoes from the ancient to the contemporary.

This new shoe compendium will raise you to 'new heights'. Taking the reader on a thrilling shoe odyssey, the work crosses all ground, from the everyday and the emotive, to the extravagant and the spectacular. Erudite and comprehensive, this book sets new standards in exploring the history of footwear. Peter McNeil, Professor of Design History, UTS, Sydney Distinguished Professor, Academy of Finland at Aalto University

Rebecca Shawcross is the Shoe Resources Officer at The Shoe Collection, Northampton Museum, UK.

Introduction 1. The First Shoes 2. From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance 3. European Renaissance 4. Towards the Age Of Reason 5. Return to Simplicity 6. Mechanization of the Industry 7. The Turn of the Twentieth Century 8. Austerity Years 9. A New Era 10. 1980s to the Present Places to Visit Selected Bibliography Glossary Index Acknowledgements

General Fields

  • : 9781472531001
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Academic
  • : September 2014
  • : 246mm X 189mm
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Rebecca Shawcross
  • : Hardback
  • : 391.413
  • : 256
  • : 300 colour illus