BE SEATED by James Cross Giblin

BE SEATED

A Book About Chairs
Age Range: 10 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 In his usual lucid, humane style, the author of such historical surveys as Chimney Sweeps (1983 American Book Award) and Milk (1986) considers the role of the chair as artifact, symbol, and comfortable refuge. Though focusing mainly on its evolution in Western civilization, Giblin begins by pointing out that some cultures have never had chairs or felt their lack, and also includes an interesting chapter on how the ancient Chinese improved on the idea of what they termed a ``barbarian couch,'' which evidently arrived from Greece or Rome; and one on the beautifully carved African ``stools'' and their ceremonial significance. Information on language (when chairs were rare, only the ``chairman'' had one); construction and materials; factors such as fashion (some chairs were designed to accommodate hoop skirts); Shaker simplicity; regal thrones (there was a deliberate dearth of chairs at Versailles--to sit was a privilege); designers of note; the relationship between posture and propriety; whimsical contemporaries (a Mickey Mouse chair); technological innovations--all add up to another fascinating, provocative window into social history. Attractively illustrated with b&w photos, period prints, etc.; bibliography and source notes; index. (Nonfiction. 10+)

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-06-021537-2
Page count: 136pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1993




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