"The book-review editors were like kings (or queens), she always fancied, holding levees, surrounded by their courtiers, while petitioners waited eagerly in the anteroom and footmen (that is, office boys) trotted back and forth. And, like kings, they had the power of life and death in their hands.

1930s woman.jpeg

She had got to know the other reviewers or 'clients,' as the Romans would have called them, quite well by sight--middle-aged bohemian women with glasses or too much rouge and dangly earrings and worn briefcases or satchels; pimply young men in suits that looked as if they were made of paper. And their shoes! Half-soled and with broken laces tied in frayed knots; it broke Libby's heart to study their shoes and the red, raw ankles emerging from cheap imitation-lisle socks." (246-247)

McCarthy, Mary. The Company She Keeps. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2002 [1942].

Can you imagine--imitation lisle! The nerve. Think of the products that were available in the 1930s and their social implications that may not mean anything today.

How would these down-at-the-heels reviewers be dressed today? Interesting in light of the previous post on ACM citing the New Yorker's conversation about officewear.

**PS: speaking of reviewing books, check out my newest review on Worn Through here!