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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011 1:56 pm
Secrets from My Shelves: The Girdle of Chastity
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

(Has anyone ever gone over to your bookshelf, picked up a book, and said, “What is this doing here?” This series of blog posts explains some of the more curious findings on one Booklister’s home shelves.)

In my defense, anyone’s history collection is going to be filled with some oddball volumes that make you look like a sociopath. Right? Right?? (Please tell me I’m right.) But few compare to this little ditty, which I picked up from a bookstore I briefly worked in circa 2001. (Blame my employee discount if you must.) Yes, The Girdle of Chastity is nothing less than the finest published account of the long, proud history of the chastity belt. Before you judge me, I will tell you that it only takes browsers of my shelves about thirty seconds for their I-want-out-of-this-room-now disgust to turn into can-I-borrow-this? fascination.

(Also, fun fact: the author’s last name is “Dingwall.” I just mention this in passing.)

Here’s a detail photograph from this delightful book. Sensitive viewers, look away!


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