In the course of the twentieth century glamour was associated primarily with cinema, although the theatre, fashion, high society, popular music, glossy magazines and department stores have all sought to harness its allure. It is usually associated with 'magic' and suggests a capacity to dazzle and seduce. Yet glamour's origins and meanings have never until now been thoroughly examined. For many , it is simply the aura of excitement and mystery that has surrounded the famous and the desirable from time immemorial. By contrast, this innovative book traces the origins of glamour to the nineteenth century and identifies it as a core feature of consumer culture. The authors examine the way that a language of visual seduction has been associated with a variety of social milieux and used to arouse envy and interest, mainly in commercial settings. They also illustrate eight distinct permutations of glamour, each of which has a complex history and is in continual evolution.

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