A fun, illustrated history of the umbrella’s surprising place in life and literature
Humans have been making, using, perfecting, and decorating umbrellas for millennia–holding them over the heads of rulers, signalling class distinctions, and exploring their full imaginative potential in folk tales and novels.
In the spirit of the best literary gift books, Brolliology is a beautifully designed and illustrated tour through literature and history. It surprises us with the crucial role that the oft-overlooked umbrella has played over centuries–and not just in keeping us dry. Marion Rankine elevates umbrellas to their rightful place as an object worthy of philosophical inquiry.
As Rankine points out, many others have tried. Derrida sought to find the meaning (or lack thereof) behind an umbrella mentioned in Nietzsche’s notes, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote essays on the handy object, and Dickens used umbrellas as a narrative device for just about everything. She tackles the gender, class, and social connotations of carrying an umbrella and helps us realize our deep connection to this most forgettable everyday object–which we only think of when we don’t have one.
“Marion Rankine [is] a delightful raconteur … Her charming book presents a whimsical and thoughtful survey of, yes, the umbrella — or ‘brolly’ in the British author’s parlance … Delicious.”—THE WASHINGTON POST
“Marion Rankine’s tour through umbrella culture suggests how widely this apparently simple accessory has been regarded with reverence, superstition and fascination… she is a thoughtful anthologist of the diverse literary examples she collects.”—THE GUARDIAN (UK)
“A wonderfully readable history of the humble umbrella”—SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE
“By analyzing values through an object most of us use, Marion Rankine arms us with questions we should be asking about every other element of the designed world.”—FAST COMPANY, DESIGN “If you don’t see the point in a cultural history of umbrellas, then friend, you are not thinking big enough. Brolliology has it all!”—VOX “With its fun facts and detailed illustrations, we predict that Brolliology: A History of the Umbrella in Life and Literature will make a “brolly” enthusiast out of you yet.”—HELLO GIGGLES
“A book I had no idea I needed to read, Rankine’s Brolliology is a cultural history of that humble item, the umbrella.”—SIGNATURE READS
“Brolliology is a beautifully designed and illustrated tour through literature and [the] history of umbrellas… Filled with cool illustrations and fun facts, this lovely book is a surprisingly compelling book on an unusual subject.”—BOOK RIOT
“A perfect book for a rainy afternoon.”—POPMATTERS
“Delightful…The book is also filled with illustrations and plenty of fascinating facts.”—BOOK PAGE “Thought-provoking”—THE NEW STATESMAN (UK)
“A breezy read… [and] attractively packaged… Brolliology makes a convincing case for the odd but noble endurance of its subject.”—THE GLOBE AND MAIL (Can.)
“This book is an enjoyable reminder that a brolly is never just a brolly.”—SYDNEY MORNING HERALD (Aus.) “Shot through with an opulent array of beautiful illustrations and photographs, Brolliology is a little gem of a book about what actually turns about to be a surprisingly absorbing and rich subject.” —THE NATIONAL (UAE)