Corsets and Codpieces

Who knew there was so much going on beneath the skirts of our ancestors? Human stories connect with our clothing and history in Karen’s gripping third book.

“Karen Bowman charts our sartorial history in this fascinating read for fashionistas and historians alike.” – Author Liz Freemantle.

Immerse yourself in this wonderfully witty and entertaining tale that just happens to be packed full of English history.

Corsets & Codpieces - New York Times Review

Karen’s third book, Corsets and Codpieces, rightly received a glowing review in the New York Times after being published in America.

“Despite its seriously restrictive title, Corsets and Codpieces is an extremely expansive, often jolly book. Karen Bowman is the writer’s equivalent of a magpie, her beady eye alert for the oddest of details and the weirdest of facts in her brief romp through a millennium of fashion victims.

Certain items of clothing have always been prime material for comedy, and Bowman doesn’t restrain herself with her stories of spring-loaded bustles, corsets and voluminous crinolines.

Sadly, no drooping bloomers or poke bonnets are on offer in Bowman’s largely light-hearted history of extreme fashion. Let’s hope she’s just keeping them back for her next eruditely playful offering.” ~ Miranda Seymour

Please, enjoy the full New York Times review here.

“This is a delicious morsel of a book which is a delight from start to finish. Bowman writes about the dark side of seemingly beautiful historical dresses, and she does it with considerable skill and a hefty dose of humour. Corsets and Codpieces is a keeper and should grace every history lover's bookshelf. It's lovely.”  Amazon

“A fun and incredible insight to how fashion shaped us and we shaped fashion.” National Archives