Virago acquires historian Virginia Nicholson's Undressing Women

Virago acquires historian Virginia Nicholson's Undressing Women

Virago has acquired Undressing Women from historian Virginia Nicholson, exploring 100 years of women's lives in British history through fashion and beauty. Senior commissioning editor Rose Tomaszewska bought world English language rights from Caroline Dawnay at United Agents.

Planned for publication in 2024, Undressing Women will "uncover new source material to tell the story of the close relationship between feminism and femininity", from 1860 to 1960, from Suffragettes casting off corsets to Christian Dior's return to the hourglass, from wartime uniforms to Miss World bikinis and from skin-lightening creams to Coco Chanel's tan.  

Tomaszewska said: "Virginia is a superb historian who I’ve admired for many years. She uncovers extraordinary testimonies, writes with great energy and vitality and is a beloved authority on women’s social history. Her passion for this project—ambitious in scope and ingenious—was infectious from our very first meeting and I’m delighted to bring her to the Virago list where our dedication to women’s stories is matched by her unique talent in bringing them to life."

Nicholson said: "I couldn’t be more delighted to be joining Virago. As a chronicler of women’s lives, the imprint feels like my natural home."

Virginia Nicholson's previous books include Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939 and Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men After the First World War (both Penguin).