In The Business of Beauty: Gender and the Body in Modern London (Bloomsbury, 2020), historian Jessica Clark takes the reader on a tour through the shifting commercial and cultural landscape of London in the second half of the 19th Century and the early decades of the 20th. The business of beatification––aimed at both men and women, and conducted by both men and women––was influenced by and reflective of shifting attitudes towards women in public spaces, the influx and success of immigrants in the nation’s capital, the development of wholesale production processes and the standardization of commodities, and the cultural competition between European nations that accompanied the growing political and military competition at the fin de siècle, among other things. In other words, Jessica Clark shows us that The Business of Beauty intersects with an amazing array of historical subjects.
Lia Paradis is Professor of History at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. She is the co-host of the Lies Agreed Upon podcast and author of Imperial Culture and the Sudan: Authorship, Identity and the British Empire (IB Tauris, 2020)