Holmes’ World: Artists Critique Female Fashion in The Strand Magazine 1891

“Tight waists and high heels are still so common that the courageous protests of the emancipated pass almost unnoticed….The heels do not give an impression of long- leggedness, but only alter and spoil the whole carriage of the body.” Artist John Collier, 1850-1934

Royal Academy artist Louisa Starr Canzini’s sketches (dancing and tennis)

“To be beautiful, it should be the expression of ease and of natural delight in movement. Also, it should have no association with pain.” Royal Academy artist, Louisa Canzini, 1845-1909

Harsh words from artist Wyke Bayliss 1835-1906:

“The truth is that every attempt to modify the human form is an act of savagery, and every form of dress that simulates a modification, wither worn in Peking, or Paris, or London, is a savage dress, and carries with it the additional shame of being a sham.”

(Comment from blogger: “Well, there’s lots that we’ve left behind. Certainly we’ve gotten over any objection to the shame of sham. Whew!”)

Bayliss’ words prompted me to look at his paintings:

Wyke Bayliss 1835-1906

“I am not narrow-minded (about clothes.) The only bad ones are those that are pretentious or vulgar.” Artist George H. Boughton 1833-1905

“Tight lacing, pointed shoes and high heels. Unless the fashion changes, (which, it being very ugly, it probably will not) will leave permanently disastrous results.

“Again, this (shoe) is hardly short of wicked and hardly short of a cloven hoof. I wish the ladies joy of it!” Artist G.F. Watts 1817-1904

The Strand 1891
Punch Magazine 1897

“You don’t even own a bicycle!”

“But I do own a sewing machine!”

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Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable, by Susanne M. Dutton, coming SOON from Propertius Press

The Game is not afoot. The Better-Every-Day world of 1895 is gone, even hard to recall, as WWI ends. Holmes fills out entry papers at a rundown psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast. Now that the law declares his cocaine use illegal, he aims to quit entirely. Confronted by a question as to his “treatment goal,” he hesitates, aware that his real goal far exceeds the capacity of any clinic. Holmes’ scribbled response, never before encountered by his long-experienced doctor, soon churns interlocking mystery and desperate action into the lives of enemies and friends both.

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