The Season: A Social History of the Debutante

The Season: A Social History of the Debutante

The world of debutantes opens into a revealing story of women across six centuries, their limited options, and their desires. Digging into the roots of the debutante ritual, with its ballrooms and white dresses, Kristen Richardson?herself descended from a line of debutantes?was fascinated to discover that the debutante ritual places our contemporary ideas about women and The world of debutantes opens into a revealing story of women across six centuries, their limited options, and their...

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Title:The Season: A Social History of the Debutante
Author:Kristen Richardson
Rating:
Genres:History
ISBN:0393608735
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:288 pages pages

The Season: A Social History of the Debutante Reviews

  • Anne
    Jan 11, 2020
    An interesting social history of Debutantes being presented at dances in "coming out", historically to meet potential husbands to the modern day where young women are meet potential business partners, professional contacts and an international groups of women. If you like social histor...
  • Sherwood Smith
    Dec 30, 2019
    An engaging social history that, perhaps wisely, avoids reflecting the ever-evolving history of marriage, which was running in a not-always-parallel track to the presentation of eligible young woman through English history in particular. It's a fun read, but I caution anyone serious...
  • RLM
    Jan 16, 2020
    The topic is definitely interesting, and I enjoyed reading about it. I think the book could have benefited from some additional editing. I also found myself wanting additional references - assertions and statements were frequently made without supporting evidence. ...
  • Mehrsa
    Nov 29, 2019
    This was a fascinating history of Debutante traditions that is actually a social history of class, gender, and race. The tradition started in Great Britain after the nunneries closed up and people had to figure out what to do with their unmarriagable daughters. Fathers got the legislat...
  • Miki
    Dec 08, 2019
    Well written account of the centuries old custom of the selling of young women into marriage, thinly disguised as a coveted social event. A extremely distasteful fact is that some of the most well-known debutante events are headed by middle-aged white men, who meet together and choose ...
  • (a)lyss(a)
    Dec 13, 2019
    I really wanted to like this book. The writing style of this book wasn't really for me. I was also really surprised there weren't pictures. There's a lot of talk about gowns and actions like the Texas Dip and not a single photo to capture it! I was expecting more history I guess, an...
  • Jessica
    Jan 12, 2020
    This was really interesting-I think it dragged in certain places, and I wish it had expanded in others. I learned a lot, and it offered a window into lives of women you don't normally get to see. ...
  • Julie
    Jan 06, 2020
    I read a book review that enticed me to read this book, but I probably should have known the subject matter would not interest me very much. In my opinion this should have been a magazine article, not a book. It did not have enough interesting information for a book-length piece. And b...
  • Phoebe
    Dec 22, 2019
    Fancy balls, white dresses, white feathers, presentation at court; this sums up what I knew about debutantes before reading this elegant and well-researched book. In her introductory chapter Richardson tells us that the above traditions "originated and evolved in England and America qu...
  • Mary
    Jan 09, 2020
    When I think of what a debutante is, I have always thought of rich girls in white dresses at a big party being introduced to "society." The words exclusionary, elitist, vapid, pompous, and superficial also come to mind. This book traces the debutante experience from its origins in the ...
  • Renee Harrison
    Dec 28, 2019
    Fascinating subject and very well researched. I appreciated the description of the African American debutante experience and it?s unique and rich culture. ...
  • Jessica
    Nov 03, 2019
    Thank you to NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review! We are seeing a resurgence in women's history, and finally are exploring topics long deemed frivolous. Kristen Richardson's history of the debutante is clever look at a social construction that dominated...
  • Rita Ciresi
    Dec 12, 2019
    If you're interested in how young women have been primed for the marriage marketplace, you will enjoy this well-researched and well-written examination of the debutante ritual. Of particular interest to me were the latter chapters, in which the author took a close look at contemporary ...
  • Mary
    Jan 08, 2020
    An interesting read. A bit meandering at times and spends surprisingly little time speculating about the future of the debutante ritual, but a good read nonetheless. ...
  • Lesley Ghidossi
    Jan 12, 2020
    Fascinating book and subject matter. I grabbed this as an audio book and honestly didn't even know this was a non-fiction book. Kristen Richardson has done her homework. I must say I can better understand my favorite Jane Austen novels on a whole new level with the this information and...
  • Alexander Peck
    Jan 18, 2020
    The irony is that in her book, that sneers at the rituals for young women to gain social connections in elite circles to enter that society with some renown and hopefully establish some wealth, she attends a debutante ball to gain some connections to this elite circle so she could bett...
  • Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    Oct 18, 2019
    Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! I find social histories fascinating. I thought that Richardson did a lot of research, starting even before Elizabeth I and moving through to now. That's amazing and she condensed all she learned into a book that will b...
  • Linda Smatzny
    Jan 03, 2020
    A very interesting and informative book about debutantes. The author goes back in history to talk about the beginnings of the debutante culture. The book includes a few photos and sketches. The book was an easy read. ...
  • Andrea Zimmerman
    Jan 16, 2020
    Read like a dissertation. ...
  • Rose
    Sep 16, 2019
    **Disclaimer** I won this ARC from a Goodreads giveaway. This doesn't chance my review, but I thought I should mention it. I wasn't required to write this review, it just seemed polite to do so after getting a free book. An interesting and relatively quick read about a bit of histor...
  • TJL
    Dec 28, 2019
    The author doesn't really make a secret of the fact that she went into this biased against Debutantes/Debuting, and so it's not surprising that the book basically has every ounce of information available to back up her presumptions. Literally at the end, she reiterates that the Debutan...
  • Emily
    Dec 03, 2019
    This was absolutely fascinating start to finish. The author has a well-supported, nuanced thesis that demonstrates the importance of diversity and family and cultural change while engaging with economics, literature, and politics over time. Richardson compared my guy Ward McAllister to...
  • Beyondthebookends
    Jan 05, 2020
    Thanks to Netgalley and W.W. Norton for my free review copy. All opinions are my own. I was looking for a non-fiction read when I stumbled across the gorgeous cover of this book. I?m a huge fan of the period romance and have read my fair share of coming-out parties, debutante balls, ...
  • Annmarie
    Jan 04, 2020
    Be glad we live in this century in the country. I was stationed in Italy in the early 1980's. I met a couple who were recently married then. The parents set up the marriage. I always wondered what the big thing about southern belles was about. Now we know the big fish in a mud puddle. ...
  • Natalie
    Jul 25, 2019
    I was pleasantly surprised at how much more than describing the rites of debutantes this book speaks to. Within the framework of describing the debutante phenomenon, the author meshes it with changing social norms and growing internationalism. A few debs are highlighted to give the...
  • Mary Miller
    Jan 03, 2020
    A social history of the debutante season. Didn't learn a great deal .. lots of endless chatter about the life of the rich and social climbing. ...
  • Jennifer Bentley
    Jan 07, 2020
    Ok, the most surprising tidbit: 'Seventeen' started as a debutante centered, serialized, etiquette-advice manual for those coming out (age 17 typically); how to dress, gown designer spring-summer previews, themed party ideas, etc ... BUT ... the backfire effect: it democratized the who...
  • Becky
    Sep 25, 2019
    As a transport to the South, I am fascinated by traditions that I only ever saw in movies or read about in books. One of those traditions is being presented to society as a debutante. It turns out that this tradition is much more wide spread than just the American South, having its roo...
  • Megan Dorsey
    Dec 14, 2019
    Had to make myself finish this one. I did learn things from reading (hence the two stars), but the interesting facts did not offset the hours spent slogging through what felt like a college research assignment. Most of the book reads like a literature review? any novel, newspaper, or...
  • Doris Raines
    Dec 08, 2019
    WHITE DRESSES MEANING?.?.. ...