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Lingerie in Literature

Underwear is a visually powerful tool, but how does it fare in the written word?

Ian McEwan favours relentlessly detailed descriptions - right down to the tiny daisy embroidered on Cecilia's bra in Atonement. Jane Austen, on the other hand, moans in letters to her sister about the "unnatural" fashion for pushed-up bosoms and we've all become familiar with EL James' most over-used undergarment in the Fifty Shades trilogy. Yes we're looking at you, "panties".

Here we bring you 20 of our favourite instances of lingerie in literature (and click your way over here if you fancy the fully-clothed version).

Tell us know your best undies in books on Twitter, or in the comments, below.

Compiled by Anna Pollitt. Images: Rex Features

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