Among the authors are explorers, journalists, physicians, psychiatrists, anthropologists, scholars, novelists, criminologists and tattoo artists.
Topics covered include the first written records of tattooing by Greek and Roman authors; the dispersal of tattoo designs and techniques throughout Polynesia, the discovery of Polynesian tattooing by European explorers; Japanese tattooing; the first nineteenth century European and American tattoo artists; tattooed British royalty; the invention of the tattooing machine; and tattooing in the circus.
The anthology concludes with essays by prominent contemporary tattoo artists and scholars. The references provide an introduction to the extensive literature that has been inspired by the ancient but neglected art of tattooing. Because of its broad historical context, TATTOO HISTORY: A SOURCE BOOK is of interest to the general reader as well as art historians and tattoo fans.