The Female Exterior in Restoration London
Bucknell Studies in Eighteenth Century Literature and Culture
This book elucidates early modern attitudes toward women's public display. It is a cultural study that draws on a wide range of literary and non-literary texts from 1650-1700 to revisit the sites where women appeared most prominently: the playhouse, the park, and the New Exchange (a shopping arcade in the Strand). An academic study, Outward Appearances is written in a clear and engaging style. It is aimed particularly at literary scholars, but historians will take a keen interest in it as well. It offers a fresh context for the study of Restoration drama and a provocative argument about women and public space.
"Will Pritchard's Outward Appearances: The Female Exterior in Restoration London is a compelling and original study of the interaction between the male gaze and the female body. . . . [Pritchard] has uncovered and recontextualized a wide range of primary texts and images, and he has offered a carefully crafted, well-documented take on the female exterior." --Emily Bowles-Smith, Lawrence University (Restoration. 33.1)
"In Outward Appearances...Will Pritchard depicts how men reacted to women's appearances and how the stakes in this looking changed as women appeared more frequently in public places where they seemed to be engaged in display or even performance...He cleverly devotes the central chapter of the book to the theater, one of the primary spaces in which women of many sorts were on display."
-- Paula R. Backsheider, "Recent Studies in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century." Studies in English Literature 2009: 774.
"Mr. Pritchard's primary sources reveal the vitality and richness of Restoration London's cultural life: meditations on gender serve as a starting point for reflections on power and propriety, the uses and misuses of the body, and the forms of alienation involved in new labor practices." -- Alison Conway, The Scriblerian, Spr/Aut 2010: 86.
"Outward Appearances nicely sets up the separate systems of epistemology and ontology to show how binaries are routinely broken in the very public spaces that women are simultaneously called to and recalled from."
--Sarah Cote, Eighteenth-Century Life, 36:1 (Winter 2012).
About the author:
Will Pritchard is an Assistant Professor of English at Lewis and Clark College.