A Smithsonian Best History Book
Kristen Richardson, from a family of debutantes, chose not to debut. But as her curiosity drove her to research this enduring custom, she learned that it, and debutantes, are not as simple as they seem. The Season shares the captivating stories of these young women, often through their words from diaries, letters, and interviews that Richardson conducted at balls. The debutantes give voice to an array of complex feelings about being put on display, and about what their future in society or as wives might be. Richardson has uncovered its extensive cultural influence on the lives of daughters and how they have come to marry.