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Sent: Sat 1/6/2007 4:53 PM Many thanks to Selma Kadi for that very interesting account of the full edition of _John Bull beim Erziehen_ - the British Library only had the first volume, which consists of the famous corsetting correspondence from _Family Doctor_. I remain somewhat sceptical about the 'duchesses' and the apparent wide spread of the practice of wearing nipple rings, though I would not be surprised to hear that some women (not necessarily in fashionable high society) did wear them. I feel that the context of these reports (among the letters about corporal punishment and corsetting and other somewhat salacious topics) tells against their evidential reliability as a source for this really being a common practice of the period. I should perhaps add that in my persual of _Society_, as far as I could tell the correspondence column was _always_ given over to these rather titillatory matters. There was never anything relating to the items of political or theatrical news which appeared in other parts of the journal. I have been looking for any supporting evidence in medical literature of the day - since if the practice were so widespread one would assume that doctors might be encountering either adverse effects when infection occurred, or simply noticing the phenomenon among their women patients more generally, or possibly fulminating against it as dangerous - but so far have found no mention at all. I should be interested to hear if anyone has done any work on _La Vie Parisienne_ and can confirm these reports that the subject was extensively mentioned there. Though Valerie Steele indicates that this journal had a somewhat equivocal reputation. Or indeed whether there is any less nugatory evidence for the existence of the fashion in fin de siecle France. Lesley Hall firstname.lastname@example.org www.lesleyahall.net