An extraordinarily witty and cleverly packaged new book by James Gulliver Hancock succinctly titled “The Bow Tie Book” addresses the idiosyncratic cravat style alternately viewed as eccentric, erratic, professorial, bohemian and Churchillian.
The book is loaded with a compendium of bow tie history from many eras in an uproarious agenda. Social Primer K. Cooper Ray claims, “Whenever I wear one, women smile,” a view hardly shared several pages later with a sober shot of the Duke of Windsor arrogantly knotting a flawless bow. Right wing pundit Tucker Carlson’s appraisal, “When you wear a bow tie, you have to turn the
part of the brain that cares about other people’s perceptions.” His neuropsychological diagnosis occurred prior his au courant long-tie conversion.
Russell Smith, observed in The London Globe and Mail, is quoted saying “Bow ties are tricky: They carry strong connotations: conservative, newspaperman, high-school principal. They are instant signs of nerd in Hollywood movies. They look fastidious but not exactly sexy. I like them.”
Hancock, an internationally noted illustrator, supplies the effort with more than 100 color and black-and-white photographs of bow tie-wearing men, along with quotes from bow tie wearers, designers and admirers. It also features a removable “How To Tie a Bow Tie” cheat sheet for beginners.
I must admit to being disappointed the book failed to include Harvard professor, JFK advisor, and J. Press customer Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who famously quipped, “It is impossible, or at least, it requires more agility, to spill anything on a bow tie.” Another J. Squeeze standby, New Haven pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock, rationally favored them to protect spreading any germs that might attach themselves to a long tie.
My irrelevant complaint by no means diminishes the net worth of this great book for bow tie virgins or their hypersexual opposites. It is a worthy antidote to Windsor Knotters and the Every-Day-Is-Casual-Friday tieless. — RICHARD PRESS