by her husband, WILLIAM A GRANGER

More pictures on LISA    Also in Gallery 29

The almost-completed companion to the original Ethel Granger Biography!

In 2002, we received a manuscript, purported by the sender (who is also the compiler) to be the larger basis for the original Ethel Granger biography. In the spirit of our attempt to make LISA a repository for historical and anecdotal material regarding corsets and corsetry, we are presenting this work to our readers.

It is presented as given to us, without editing or the presumption of making "corrections," nor do we vouch of the validity of this work. In any case, it is best published rather than not.


A Guinness Record: The World’s Smallest Waist


 This document has been produced by scanning a photocopy of a second or maybe even a third carbon copy of the original typescript.  This compiler does not have cast iron proof that the document is truly the product of Will Granger’s hand and typewriter, but because of similarities to his much shorter published biography of Ethel, mentioned by Kunzle, and the source from whence it came, I am almost certain that it is truly Will Granger’s own work.

The document is the product of an electronic scanner, and is unchanged from the typescript except to correct scanning errors brought about by the poor quality of the typescript with its occasional manuscript alterations, the odd typo and to add a front title page.  No attempt has been made to improve its style; it is as one would read the typescript.  It is obviously a first or early draft, it has some pages missing, and is probably unfinished.  If submitted to a publisher, and if accepted in principle – doubtful given the date of the work, probably the mid 60’s – it would inevitably have undergone extensive editing as will be apparent to any reader.  Pages 180 to 199 of the typescript are missing; if any reader has them, they are very welcome to add them.  Finally, the ending is very abrupt.  Almost certainly Will Granger would have added more had he lived.

It could also be asked:  by what right is this published?  Is this after all not a very private memoir intended for a very limited circulation?  This compiler believes not, first, because the earlier, shorter version was published during Mr Granger’s lifetime, to which he refers in the text; second there are several places in the text where Mr Granger addresses the reader and the inference is that he did not expect a very limited readership; finally, the owner of the copy of the manuscript from which this electronic copy was made, and who knew both Mr and Mrs Granger, certainly believed that Mr Granger would have tried to publish it if he considered it finished.

Ironically, although Will set out to write a biography of his wife, the document reveals much more of his personality and life story than that of Ethel.  He was obviously a ‘difficult’ man, and one feels Ethel is to be praised at least as much for sticking with him as for her spectacular physical achievements.

William Arnold Granger              b. 1 Jul 1903 Chesterton, Cambs                 [3b 449*]

                                                 d. 4 Mar 1974 Peterborough                       [4B 1464]

                                                 married Oct-Dec 1928                               [3b 1166]

Ethel Mary Wilson                      b. 12 Apr 1905 Chesterton                          [3b 417]  

                                                  d. Jan-Mar 1982 Peterborough                   [9 1452]

* Reference in registry of Births, marriages and deaths, Somerset House , UK


Model in JC Creations corset
Ethel Granger's belt
(diameter 13.5 cm, or 5.3")

Courtesy Corsetworld


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