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When Ladies Go A-Thieving: Middle-Class Shoplifters in the Victorian Department Store
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When Ladies Go A-Thieving: Middle-Class Shoplifters in the Victorian Department Store

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  53 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
This book focuses on middle-class urban women as participants in new forms of consumer culture. Within the special world of the department store, women found themselves challenged to resist the enticements of consumption. Many succumbed, buying both what they needed and what they desired, but also stealing what seemed so readily available. Pitted against these middle-class ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 1st 1992 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1990)
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Anne
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I found this book to be pretty dry, as I was warned it would be. But parts of it were just fascinating! Many of the large, big-city department stores were still pretty much intact when I was younger, and I well remember that feeling of awe as I walked through the doors. (Although I never felt the overwhelming compulsion to steal something.) It was amazing to me to learn that as long as there have been department stores, there have been shoplifters. I would have liked more anecdotes, although I'm ...more
Marisa Berman
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-clubbing
"The relationship between menstruation and insanity, a key element in explanations of female behavior, became integral to the debate over kleptomania."

Feminine weakness, sexual repression, insanity, and obsession are some of the main theories behind shoplifting in the Victorian era. Excellent history with a diverse mix of sources. Highly enjoyable.
Kelsey
Oct 03, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
When you are really in the mood to read about the rise of shoplifting among middle-class women with the modernization of department stores during the Victorian age...then here you go. Its a hard slog though...one I have yet to finish after two attempts.
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