Shopping, Seduction & Mr Selfridge (Paperback)

Lindy Woodhead

The men who created the first department stores - what Zola called 'great cathedrals of shopping' - made vast fortunes, but no one understood consumption as a sensual female entertainment better than the maverick American retailer Harry Gordon Selfridge.

In 1909, the largest department store in London's West End, designed and built from scratch, opened in Oxford Street in a glorious burst of publicity. The mastermind behind the façade was American retail genius Harry Gordon Selfridge: maverick businessman, risk-taker, dandy and one of the greatest showmen the retail world has ever known.

His talents were to create the seduction of shopping, and as his success and fame grew, so did his glittering lifestyle: mansions, yachts, gambling, racehorses - and mistresses. From the glamour of Edwardian England, through the turmoil of the Great War and the heady excesses of the 1920s and beyond, Selfridges Department Store was 'a theatre with the curtain going up at 9 o'clock each morning'. Mr Selfridge reveals the captivating story of the rise and fall of the man who revolutionised the way we shop.

'Lively and entertaining' Sunday Telegraph

'Will change your view of shopping forever' Vogue

'Harry Selfridge revolutionised the way we shop ... fascinating' Daily Mail

Publication date: 09/10/2008


ISBN: 9781861971692

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Biography & Memoir, History & Classics

Reviews for Shopping, Seduction & Mr Selfridge

'In this energetic and wonderfully detailed biography, Lindy Woodhead ... provides an enthralling description of fashion, politics, music and dance, the arts, the sciences advertising and the use of the media, during the decades before the Second war.'

 Evening Standard

'A man ahead of his time, an accelerator of change, and he deserves to be remembered as the man who put the fun on to the shop floor and the sex appeal in to shopping.'

 Sunday Express

'Harry Selfridge revolutionised the way we shop...fascinating.'

 Daily Mail

'A fascinating biographical, as well as sociological, study'

 Independent on Sunday

'Lively... conveys the excitement of changes in fashion and technology in the late Edwardian era'

 Sunday Telegraph

'This biography - of Selfridge, of the early 20th century and of the legacy of consumerism they helped to create - serves as a fitting tribute as it approaches its 100th anniversary'

Katy Guest Independent


Jackie McGlone Scotsman

'A rich social history of a time of great change'

 Spectator Business

Lindy Woodhead

Lindy Woodhead

Lindy Woodhead worked in international fashion for over twenty-five years. During the late 1980s she spent two years as the first woman on the board of directors of Harvey Nichols. Lindy retired from fashion in 2000 to concentrate on writing. She is the author of War Paint and Shopping, Seduction and Mr Selfridge. She is a regular contributor to the Spectator and The Times Saturday Magazine.