He did not like her when she was wilful; it contrasted too strongly with her elaborate clothes, all designed to show a total inadequacy outside the domestic interior. The thin end of the sensible clothes wedge had been inserted in society by the disgraceful Mrs Bloomer a decade and a half before the year of which I write; but that early attempt at the trouser suit had been comprehensively defeated by the crinoline - a small fact of considerable significance in our understanding of the Victorians. They were offered sense; and chose a six-foot folly unparalled in the most folly-ridden of minor arts.
Sunday, 1 February 2009
Markers of folly.
From The French Lieutenant's Woman (chapter 34):