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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
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 good reference work for someone interested in the fashion of the period. Those who know the Jane Ashelford did The Sixteenth Century (A Visual History of Costume) may be wondering how this differs. They are alike in that both rely on reproductions of contemporary illustrations, mostly in black-and-white. As the title suggests, this focuses on the years 1558-1603. In this book, Ashelford goes considerably more in depth in the social significance of the clothing. She considers its relationship to social status, examines the widespread use of allegory, looks at festive costumes and the fashion trade. I would say that for a person who is interested solely in Elizabethan fashion, the Visual History book would not add much to this. The person with a more general interest in Tudor fashion may want both.
Review: Visual History of Costume 19th CenturyUser Review - Caroline - Goodreads
GT737 .F670 1984 Based on paintings, etchings, and photographs so every page is illustrated, but some could stand to be larger so that the reader can actually see the details. Read full review