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Summary

I used to love the rattle and whoosh of my grandma's buttons as they scattered from their Quality Street tin.

An inlaid wooden chest the size of a shoe box holds Lynn Knight's button collection. A collection that has been passed down through three generations of women: a chunky '60s-era toggle from a favourite coat, three tiny pearl buttons from her mother's first dress after she was adopted as a baby, a jet button from a time of Victorian mourning. Each button tells a story.

'They change our view of the world and the world's view of us', said Virginia Woolf of clothes. The Button Box traces the story of women at home and in work from pre-First World War domesticity through the first clerical girls in silk blouses to the delights of beading and glamour in the '30s to short skirts and sexual liberation in the '60s.

©2016 Lynn Knight (P)2016 Random House AudioBooks

What listeners say about The Button Box

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A fascinating book

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, having being originally drawn to it because I have my own childhood memories of happily looking through my Grandma's button box. The book is a real treasure and I have already bought another copy to give to a friend: I know she too will love it.

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A patchwork of pieces, some better than others

Well read with an appropriate voice, but the writing & content aren't what I hoped for. It mixes women's social history with the author's personal family stories which is engaging in places... but unfortunately it quite often verges into a detailed list of "clothes I have owned, with information about where and when I brought them." These bits are still in the extreme, akin to listening to a stranger's shopping list. a good editor might have saved it, but alas!

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Women's history

I shall be listening to this again it so much more than buttons. The history of women's lives across the generations is thought provoking, so much I'd not heard of but also reminders of things my mom and nan have told me. The outrageous expections that women through the years have had to put up with and yet much has not changed. Yes more women have top jobs but the idea of equality still has a long way to go.

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Interesting and well researched

Lots of interesting information and tidbits from years gone by, all centred around buttons and those who made the garments they were sewn on. I learned a great deal about how different levels of society behaved towards their clothing. Fascinating stuff.

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Flashbacks to childhood moments.

I wasn’t sure how much traction there was in a ‘button box’ but Lynn Knight knows her stuff and made it such an interesting journey I’m so glad I listened. Well done. Well done on the narration too.