In her review of Valerie Steele's "Paris Fashion: A Cultural History" (Book Review, March 27), Francesca Stanfill attributes paraphrased ideas and quoted material to Steele (paragraph beginning "But most interesting of all . . .) which I instantly recognized as my own from a piece I wrote ("Clothing and Fashion as Communication") several years back which appears in Michael Solomon, Editor, "The Psychology of Fashion" (Heath, 1985).
Having read Steele's earlier book "Fashion and Eroticism" (Oxford University Press, 1985) I thought it improbable so scrupulous a scholar would simply lift another's ideas and prose and claim them as her own. In the interim, I have tracked down the reviewed volume and, indeed, find Steele attributes the material in question to me by name, citing its source and placing quote marks around the sentences I wrote (pp. 280-81 of "Paris Fashion").
If the author could take this trouble, should not the reviewer have done the same?
DEPTARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY
UC SAN DIEGO