Search-icon

Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge

By

Paperback published by Random House Trade Paperbacks (Random House Publishing Group)

have you read it? rate it!
Histogram_reset_icon
ADD TO MY SHELF
About This Book
If you lived at Downton Abbey, you shopped at Selfridge’s.

Harry Gordon Selfridge was a charismatic American who, in twenty-five years working at Marshall Field’s in Chicago, rose from lowly stockboy to a partner in the business which his visionary skills had helped to create. At the turn of the twentieth century he brought his own American dream to London’s Oxford Street where, in 1909, with a massive burst of publicity, Harry opened Selfridge’s, England’s first truly modern built-for-purpose department store. Designed to promote shopping as a sensual and pleasurable experience, six acres of floor space offered what he called “everything that enters into the affairs of daily life,” as well as thrilling new luxuries—from ice-cream soda to signature perfumes. This magical emporium also featured Otis elevators, a bank, a rooftop garden with an ice-skating rink, and a restaurant complete with orchestra—all catering to customers from Anna Pavlova to Noel Coward. The store was “a theatre, with the curtain going up at nine o’clock.” Yet the real drama happened off the shop floor, where Mr. Selfridge navigated an extravagant world of mistresses, opulent mansions, racehorses, and an insatiable addiction to gambling. While his gloriously  iconic store still stands, the man himself would ultimately come crashing down.

The true story that inspired the Masterpiece series on PBS • Mr. Selfridge is a co-production of ITV Studios and Masterpiece

“Enthralling . . . [an] energetic and wonderfully detailed biography.”—London Evening Standard
 
“Will change your view of shopping forever.”—Vogue (U.K.)
Show less
If you lived at Downton Abbey, you shopped at Selfridge’s.

Harry Gordon Selfridge was a charismatic American who, in twenty-five years working at Marshall Field’s in Chicago, rose from lowly stockboy to a partner in the business which his visionary skills had helped to create. At the turn of the twentieth century he brought his own American dream to London’s Oxford Street where, in 1909, with a massive burst of publicity, Harry opened Selfridge’s, England’s first truly modern built-for-purpose department store. Designed to promote shopping as a sensual and pleasurable experience, six acres of floor space offered what he called “everything that enters into the affairs of daily life,” as well as thrilling new luxuries—from ice-cream soda to signature perfumes. This magical emporium also featured Otis elevators, a bank, a rooftop garden with an ice-skating rink, and a restaurant complete with orchestra—all catering to customers from Anna Pavlova to Noel Coward. The store was “a theatre, with the curtain going up at nine o’clock.” Yet the real drama happened off the shop floor, where Mr. Selfridge navigated an extravagant world of mistresses, opulent mansions, racehorses, and an insatiable addiction to gambling. While his gloriously  iconic store still stands, the man himself would ultimately come crashing down.

The true story that inspired the Masterpiece series on PBS • Mr. Selfridge is a co-production of ITV Studios and Masterpiece

“Enthralling . . . [an] energetic and wonderfully detailed biography.”—London Evening Standard
 
“Will change your view of shopping forever.”—Vogue (U.K.)
Product Details
Paperback (336 pages)
Published: February 12, 2013
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Random House Trade Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780812985047
Other books byLindy Woodhead
  • Shopping, Seduction and Mr Selfridge

    Shopping, Seduction and Mr Selfridge
    In 1909, the maverick American retailer Harry Gordon Selfridge opened the West End of London's first dedicated department store to a blaze of glorious publicity - the culmination of the largest advertising campaign ever mounted in the British press. No one understood the sex appeal of shopping better than Selfridge, and his fervent belief in consumerism as both sensual and theatrical entertainment ensured the success of his eponymous Oxford Street store. But the 'showman of shopping' would eventually be undone by an insatiable addiction to gambling, extravagant mansions and even more extravagant mistresses. Thirty years after building his revolutionary store, Selfridge was ousted in a boardroom coup. The self-made millionaire died virtually penniless in 1947. Set against the heady growth of twentieth century consumerism, Lindy Woodhead explores the rise and fall of the retail prince whose fusion of shopping and seduction has left a lasting legacy, symbolised by the towering Ionic columns of Selfridges.

    War Paint

    War Paint
    Madame Helena Rubinstein and Miss Elizabeth...
    A fascinating dual biography of the women who founded today’s beauty industry They were both born in the nineteenth century in humble circumstances–Helena Rubinstein in an orthodox Jewish household in Kraków, Poland, Elizabeth Arden on a farm outside Toronto. But by the 1930s, they were bitter rivals in New York, the rulers of dueling international beauty empires that would forever change the way women thought about cosmetics, salons, and wrinkles. This riveting biography brings these two celebrated women to life, revealing the ruthless drive and innovative business strategies that took each to the top. Along the way, it offers an intriguing look at their personal idiosyncrasies (Rubinstein collected art, Arden racehorses), their checkered marriages, and the rarefied social milieu in which they both traveled.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
Quote Cannot be Empty

Submitted quotes are usually posted within 48 hours

ThanksYour Quote Will be posted Shortly
Bookish