Appropriate[Ing] Dress: Women's Rhetorical Style in Nineteenth-Century America / Edition 3

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $5.20
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 85%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (10) from $5.20   
  • New (4) from $26.52   
  • Used (6) from $5.20   


Carol Mattingly examines the importance of dress and appearance for nineteenth-century women speakers and explores how women appropriated gendered conceptions of dress and appearance to define the struggle for representation and power that is rhetoric. Although crucial to women’s effectiveness as speakers, Mattingly notes, appearance has been ignored because it was taken for granted by men.

Because women rarely spoke in public before the nineteenth century, no guidelines existed regarding appropriate dress when they began to speak to audiences. Dress evoked immediate images of gender, an essential consideration for women speakers because of its strong association with place, locating women in the domestic sphere and creating a primary image that women speakers would work with—and against—throughout the century. Opposition to conspicuous change for women often necessitated the subtle transfer of comforting images when women sought to inhabit traditionally masculine spaces. The most successful women speakers carefully negotiated expectations by highlighting some conventions even as they broke others.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Appropriate[ing] Dress is an important contribution to the burgeoning scholarship on nineteenth-century women’s rhetoric, with fascinating implications for the analysis of women’s public speaking in all eras. Mattingly builds here upon her thorough knowledge of the period . . . drawing extensively on period illustrations and journalism. She concludes with provocative links to contemporary theoretical concerns in feminist rhetoric—a must-read for any student of women’s rhetoric in any period!”—Patricia Bizzell, College of the Holy Cross 
Mattingly (U. of Louisville) has written extensively about women's history. Women in 19th-century America, she says, were identified as feminine primarily by their dress and location. She explores how women speakers used appearance to negotiate expectations restricting them to limited locations and excluding them from public rhetoric. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809324286
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2002
  • Series: Studies in Rhetorics and Feminisms
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 192
  • Lexile: 1480L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol Mattingly, director of the writing center at the University of Louisville, is the author of Well-Tempered Women: Nineteenth-Century Temperance Rhetoric and editor of Water Drops from Women Writers: A Temperance Reader.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Introduction: Fabricated Gender 1
1 Friendly Dress: A Disciplined Use 17
2 Blooming Celebrity: The Flowering of a National Ethos 37
3 Restraining Women's Rhetoric: Backlash Against the Reform Dress 62
4 The Language of Passing and Desire: The Rhetoric of Cross-Dressing 85
5 [Re]Fashioning a Proper Image by Dressing the Part 107
Conclusion: Dress and Body as Spectacle 135
Notes 147
Works Cited 157
Index 169
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)