'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 16 April 2021

Review: A Brief History of Underpants

Have you ever wondered when and from where our wonderful undies originated? If so, and even if you haven’t, you will have the best laugh ever reading this book!

A Brief History of Underpants is an hilarious, historical journey around the world, on the how and what underpants were made of, who wore them first, and the stories of their origins and re-formation.

This seems to be a subject that interests many people as there are thirteen titles on the subject listed at the back of this book.

The entertainment begins on the cover where a rotating wheel changes the view of the undies worn by the character. Four chapters, Crusty Old Buns, Underpants Around the World, Cheeky Inventions, and Tushes Today, complete the contents.

This initial play on words carries through the entire book. It is filled with clever word use designed to make you laugh out loud, as you learn about the modest word that wasn’t uttered, until later when language caught up with progress.

Natural materials were used to make the first lower covering. This knowledge is uncovered in the same way as for fossils.

What did people wear in the freezing temperatures 20,000 years BCE to keep their lower regions warm? Animal skins of course! But which kind, and how were they worn?

Different countries wore their own type of covering. Each had a different name for undies. The ancient Egyptians wore loincloths, and many extra pairs were packed with one pharaoh to go with him to the afterlife. How did they dye them red? Why did King Tut wear silk ones? (These deep and meaningful facts come with each entry).

Sumo wrestlers – rikishi, competed in unwashed mawashi. Don’t try to imagine how long the cloth was! As an added surprise, instructions on how to wear one are included further on.

Mongol soldiers wore woven silk under their armour. Knights wore padded underpants. Why?

To discover what damsels in distress, and people in Medieval Europe, the Aztecs, North America, Australia and other countries used, surprise yourself with this historical and wonderfully funny but true information, on the evolution of man and their underpants! It will be borrowed, bought as presents, suggested for reading, and enjoyed by all ages.

Fabulous illustrations accompany the text to add to the hilarity already presented in words.

Title: A Brief History of Underpants
Author: Christine Van Zandt
Illustrator: Harry Briggs
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $14.99
Publication Date: 13 April 2021
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978060370605
For ages: 8+
Type: Junior Non-Fiction