The Umbrella Unfurled; Its Remarkable Life & Times

Universally recognisable, the umbrella and its prettier sister the parasol have cropped up in almost every civilisation over many centuries. Art, religion, love, war and fashion have all been influenced by this seemingly modest contraption.
The Umbrella Unfurled tracks its hero to Ancient Egypt, where it was long for the Pharaoh’s use only, and then on to ancient Persia, Greece and Rome, reaching the present day via Regency England and Hollywood in its golden age. The references and  depictions of umbrellas and parasols from around the Old World are often laden with great symbolic and ceremonial import.

Despite its more practical reputation in the West, the umbrella 0r parasol has usually been culturally significant, whether as the  accoutrement of a fashionable Edwardian lady, part of the  uniform of the City gentleman, or even on the battlefield, where it has been deployed to great effect – if  against the wishes of the Duke of Wellington. And it has been wielded with more sinister intent as the weapon of choice by the KGB seeking to dispatch dissidents abroad.

Decorative, useful, symbolic and on rare occasions even deadly, the umbrella has a story older and more complex than is often thought. Read all about it in this entertaining, wittily illustrated little book. It makes the perfect gift.