Ugliness: A Cultural History
Gretchen E. Henderson


Paperback | May 2018 | REAKTION BOOKS | 9781780239316 | 240pp | 216x138mm | Temporarily unavailable | GEN | AUD$24.99, NZD$29.99


In this riveting book Gretchen E. Henderson explores perceptions of ugliness through history, from ancient Roman feasts to medieval grotesque gargoyles, from Mary Shelley's monster cobbled from corpses to the Nazi Exhibition of Degenerate Art. Covering literature, art, music and even Uglydolls, Henderson reveals how ugliness has long posed a challenge to aesthetics and taste. Following ugly bodies and dismantling ugly senses across periods and continents, Ugliness: A Cultural History draws on a wealth of fields to cross cultures and times, delineating the changing map of ugliness as it charges the public imagination.
Now available in paperback, this book is illustrated with a range of artefacts and offers a refreshing perspective that moves beyond the surface to ask what `ugly' truly is, even as its meaning continues to shift.