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I usually prefer line drawings of costume: while the merits of showing contemporary drawings are clear, the reader is too often left to attempt to draw conclusions from small picture, frequently in black-and-white, described somewhat vaguely in jargon. "Note the sitter's fumpow ... " the description is likely to say, leaving one to wonder what exactly that is and where it is worn: is it a hat, a sleeve, a shoe? Frequently, even unabridged dictionaries are little help in sorting out the terminology, even if they contain the word. "Kirtle" meant different things at different times. This series, The Visual History of Costume, uses historic drawings, in an effective manner. The descriptive captions are very clearly written. There is a glossary, with references to plates illustrating the item described. The authors also attempt to place the styles precisely within the century. The picture may show, for example, an elderly sitter and explain that the clothing would not have been in style at the time of the painting, but that it was common for older people to continue wearing styles from their youth. Most of the clothing is middle- and upperclass styles. A more detailed description is in the ProductWiki. The pictures in this case are both a strength and a weakness. The pictures are carefully selected to show variant styles, back details, etc. Unfortunately, some are so badly reproduced that the details are difficult to see. A good reference work for someone interested in the fashion of the period.