The Big Book of Legs


The third in Dian Hanson’s wildly successful series on erotic body parts explores how the female leg became central to women’s emancipation, from the French Revolution to the sexual revolution. Over 400 photos document the first burlesque shows of the 1800s, the nylon-mania of the ’40s, and the golden age of leg magazines in the ’60s.

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ISBN: 9783836596572 Category:

Dian Hanson


The female leg is a sexual oddity. Non-genital, and nearly identical in structure to the corresponding male body part, there is no obvious reason why it’s eroticized. Yet, through much of history, across many cultures, the female leg was hidden from sight and treated as such a taboo topic that it became an object of intense sexual obsession. In the Victorian era the word “leg” was so forbidden that it couldn’t be uttered in polite society, lest men be driven wild with lust. Even now, 100 years after women’s legs came out of hiding, their allure remains strong. In this third book of Dian Hanson’s wildly successful body parts series she explores how freeing the female leg became central to women’s liberation, beginning with the post-French Revolution cancan and ending with the 1960’s Sexual Revolution miniskirt. Over 400 photos document the first burlesque “leg shows” of the 1800s, the silk-stockinged flappers of the 1920s, the nylon-mania of the 1940s, the dawn of the stiletto heel in the 1950s, all leading to the golden age of leg magazines in the 1960s. Learn who wore the first high heels, how nylons became a weapon of war, why Betty Grable’s were the million dollar legs, where Elmer Batters got his start, and just what the deal is with feet, while enjoying great vintage photos by Irving Klaw, Batters and other masters of leg art.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 30 x 30 cm
Publisher name TASCHEN
Publication date 30 March 2024
Number of pages 372
Format Hardback
Dimensions 30 x 30 cm
Weight 300 g


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Dian Hanson is a senior editor and writer for TASCHEN, with over 50 books to her credit. In addition to ARNOLD, her recent works include The Art of Pin-up, Masterpieces of Fantasy Art, and The Fantastic Worlds of Frank Frazetta.