Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge

Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge

eBook - 2012
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"In 1909 London's first dedicated department store built from scratch opened in a glorious burst of publicity, spearheaded by the largest advertising campaign ever mounted in the British press. In his eponymous store Selfridge created nothing less than "the theatre of retail". His personal life was just as flamboyant, one of mistresses and mansions, racehorses and yachts. In this book Lindy Woodhead tells the extraordinary story of the early 20th century revolution in shopping and the rise and fall of a retail prince"-- Provided by publisher.
"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Random House Trade Paperbacks,, [2012]
ISBN: 9780812985054
0812985052
Characteristics: 1 online resource.
Summary: "In 1909 London's first dedicated department store built from scratch opened in a glorious burst of publicity, spearheaded by the largest advertising campaign ever mounted in the British press. In his eponymous store Selfridge created nothing less than "the theatre of retail". His personal life was just as flamboyant, one of mistresses and mansions, racehorses and yachts. In this book Lindy Woodhead tells the extraordinary story of the early 20th century revolution in shopping and the rise and fall of a retail prince"-- Provided by publisher.

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steve77
Jun 02, 2017

I agree with the fellow comment here. This book was a struggle to finish and very dry in parts. It is VERY different from the PBS show and very little about his family. Some parts were interesting but so much detail at times. My mind would wonder as I tried to finish it.

SCLOWATER May 20, 2014

While Harry Selfridge's life was fascinating to read about, I found the author's style of writing difficult at times. She uses terms I've never heard of & she often seemed to veer off topic a lot. She also makes some claims in the book that are different from what I've seen in a TV documentary about Selfridge as well as what I've found on Wikipedia.
Despite all this, still an interesting read though.

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