Die Hosenrolle: Variationen über das Thema das Weib als Mann

Munich: Meyer & Jessen, 1925. First edition. 8vo, 247 pp, bound in paper-covered boards illustrated in color. No dust jacket. Text in German.

The first edition of this remarkable study of trouser roles in theatre and a cultural history of women wearing pants, written by Holtmont in response to the backlash against the fashion in Weimar Germany. As Margaret Notley puts it, ”This circumstance led Alfred Holtmont to write a book about the history of trouser roles and other contexts in which women had worn pants from ancient times to his present, with the ultimate goal of reassuring contemporary readers that new fashions in women's clothing would not hasten the end of civilization as they knew it.”

Holtmont is far-ranging in defense of the subject, drawing in far-raging references the the practie, including androgyny, sexual roles, The Amazons, Claissical, Gnostic and Platonic ideas of gender, etc.

An essential book in the history of theatre, gender studies, and fashion, not least for the copious images, which are all indexed and sourced. The latter half of the book is illustrated with photographs of contemporary dancers and actors in pants, and is a valuable visual record of so many groundbreaking actors and performers of the Weimar period for whom few images or biographical traces remain - including Maria Orska as Wedekind's Lulu, Nina Hard, Agnes Straub playing George Sand, Ruth Schwarzkopf, Erna Morena et al.

References: “Taken by the Devil: The Censorship of Franz Wedekind and Alban Berg's Lulu," p. 25, footnote.

A very good copy, slightly faded at spine and upper portion of boards, but with the yellow cloth still otherwise bright and the beautiful front panle illustration bright. Item #31405

Price: $75.00