Foot Notes

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20130328

Writer, journalist and passionate shoe collector Rowan Pelling takes us on a journey through her personal shoe collection to tell us the extraordinary story that lies behind footwear.

She discovers that, far from being simple functional objects that we put on our feet, shoes can communicate our sexual desire, aesthetic sense, social status and personality. They not only reflect social history and changing fashions, but are also a personal record of our lives - a touchstone that evokes a time, a place and an emotion.

In language and throughout literature, they can be magical as in The Red Shoes, transform lives as in Cinderella, and used as punishment in the Twelve Dancing Princesses.

Shoes have been made from jewels, can cost thousands and are often bought in the wrong size - just because we love them.

Fancy shoes, comfy shoes, old shoes, new shoes - they can change an attitude and define a generation and mean something different to us all.

Presenter: Rowan Pelling

Producer: Angela Hind

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.