The Devil's Cloth: A History of Stripes

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Simon and Schuster, Jun 4, 2003 - History - 144 pages
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To stripe a surface serves to distinguish it, to point it out, to oppose it or associate it with another surface, and thus to classify it, to keep an eye on it, to verify it, even to censor it.
Throughout the ages, the stripe has made its mark in mysterious ways. From prisoners' uniforms to tailored suits, a street sign to a set of sheets, Pablo Picasso to Saint Joseph, stripes have always made a bold statement. But the boundary that separates the good stripe from the bad is often blurred. Why, for instance, were stripes associated with the devil during the Middle Ages? How did stripes come to symbolize freedom and unity after the American and French revolutions? When did the stripe become a standard in men's fashion? "In the stripe," writes author Michel Pastoureau, "there is something that resists enclosure within systems." So before putting on that necktie or waving your country's flag, look to The Devil's Cloth for a colorful history of the stripe in all its variety, controversy, and connotation.

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The Devil's cloth: a history of stripes and striped fabric

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Convinced that "clothing is always the bearer of important meanings," Sorbonne paleographer/archivist Pastoureau here explores hitherto uncharted territory. In this intriguing little book, he ... Read full review

Review: The Devil's Cloth: A History of Stripes (Librairie du XXème siècle)

User Review  - Melanie - Goodreads

Very interesting history on the stripe. Though a bit contradtictory - stripes being both the worst sort of connotation as well as the best - it was nonetheless very informative and eye-opening. I enjoyed it quite a lot. Read full review


Heraldry and the Stripe
From the Domestic to the Romantic
To Stripe and to Punish
Striped Surface Dangerous Surface
Bibliographic Orientation

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About the author (2003)

Michel Pastoureau is a historian and director of studies at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes de la Sorbonne in Paris. A specialist in the history of colors, symbols, and heraldry, he is the author of many books, including "Blue" and "Black" (both Princeton) and "The Devil's Cloth: A History of Stripes." His books have been translated into more than thirty languages.

Madeleine FerriA]res is professor of social history at the University of Avignon.

Jody Gladding is a published poet and the translator of several works, including "French Gastronomy: The History and Geography of a Passion,

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