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Sent: Sun 1/21/2007 12:00 AM Subject: Re: French maid outfits? We've given a little thought to the "French maid outfit" phenomenon since this question, and have a few preliminary thoughts. Since it's called "French maid," the idea is not French in origin. Possibly English or German, or even American? Did French maids routinely wear black dresses with white ruffled aprons and hats? During what time era was this outfit worn? (What were the typical outfits of maids of other countries?) The "French maid" fantasy is a class-based fantasy. The lords and lordlets of the home would look to the maids of their homes and places they visited as possible sexual partners. The exoticism of visiting another country and seeing the sexy maids there was projected onto the typical outfit. There is a literature on sex and class that may have some clues about realities and fantasies of maid-lust. I recall seeing artwork (Rowlandson, and many others) from the mid-to late-19th Century that shows lascivious interactions of upper class with their maids; some of which are wearing maid-like outfits. Hope you get somewhere with this. It's an interesting question. ----- Original Message ----- From: "Hera Cook" <h.cook@BHAM.AC.UK> To: <H-HISTSEX@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Sent: Friday, January 05, 2007 5:22 AM Subject: French maid outfits? Hi, I am reposting this as I think it may have got lost over Christmas as I find it hard to believe that no one has any ideas on the topic. Happy New Year, Hera Cook Lit editor Sent: Tue 1/2/2007 2:36 PM To: Hemail@example.com Hello, I am hoping that someone can point me in the direction of resources for the history of the French maid's outfit. I am particularly interested when this costume was sexualized. I am not a subscriber to this list, but was recommended to it when I posted this query on another list. Thanks so much for your help Carol Carol Magee Assistant Professor of Art History University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill CB 3405 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3405 919-962-0727 office 919-962-0722 fax