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.