Ethel Granger and the Hidden Histories

Ethel Granger and the Hidden Histories of Body Modification in England

In 1957, Ethel Granger rose to public prominence after her husband Bill, an astronomer, appeared on the pioneering BBC stargazing programme The Sky at Night. Ethel had accompanied Bill to the television recording in order to offer moral support, and a producer there was struck by Ethel’s tiny waist, then measuring under 14 inches.

Ethel featured briefly in the landmark book Modern Primitives and still holds the official record for the smallest cinched waist ever measured. This talk will present an overview of her story, and connect her and her husband’s experiences to a longer and murkier set of histories of private corsetry, piercing and tattooing which stretch back into the 19th century.

by: Dr Matt Lodder
Slot: 7 / Room 16
– Fri. 2pm-3:30pm