To write a distick upon it : Busks and the language of courtship and sexual desire in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England

Journal article


Bendall, Sarah Anne. (2014). To write a distick upon it : Busks and the language of courtship and sexual desire in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Gender and History. 26(2), pp. 199-222. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0424.12066
AuthorsBendall, Sarah Anne
Abstract

[Extract] This article will focus in particular on two components of the early modern corset, the ‘busk’ and the ‘busk-point’, in England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The busk was an independent, interchangeable part of the corset, a long piece of wood, metal, whalebone or horn that was placed into a stitched channel between layers of fabric in the front of the bodies or stays and secured into place at the bottom by a small piece of ribbon called the ‘busk-point’. The busk existed to keep the posture erect, to ‘keep in the fullness of the breasts’ and to keep the belly flat.2 However during the early modern period this accessory inspired many more social practices than its somewhat simple function in dress would suggest. The busk's association with the female body, its closeness to the breasts at one end and to the groin at the other meant that this object was inherently sexualised and thus participated in the construction of early modern sexuality and sexual practices.

Year2014
JournalGender and History
Journal citation26 (2), pp. 199-222
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN0953-5233
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0424.12066
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84904003069
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range199-222
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online10 Jul 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited23 Aug 2021
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