Review: ‘From Codpiece to Three Piece: The History of Fashion’

History Today

Kindle Edition

July 2013

UlinkaRublack, Patrick Little, Christina Walkley, Lois Banner, Quentin Bell, Carol Dyhouse, Stella Mary Pearce  and Eileen Ribeiro

£2.05 from Amazon.co.uk

 

This small e-book contains eight articles spanning 60 years of scholarship and publishing. They focus on fashion, not just what clothes were worn when, but attitudes to clothing, and the things they indicate about the wearer, and also how people viewed the clothing worn by their ancestors, and how it was depicted in art.

Ranging from the changing attitudes to the wearing of fur to how fourteenth century artists depicted classical subjects to the question of precisely how dull Cromwell’s clothes were, this is a fascinating collection of articles. There is nothing new here; in fact I recognised three of the articles as I’ve read History Today regularly for the past eight years. The older articles were interesting, though; sixty years is a long time in academia and the attitudes of the writers to their subject’s is as interesting as the subjects themselves.

I’ve never bought one of these collections before (although it would be more precise to say my oldest friend bought me it since I used the gift card she gave me for my birthday – thanks Fi!) but I think it’s well worth the price. They are great resources, containing the best articles History Today has published on a particular subject. I would have liked a new, original article to go with the collection though; I think it would have made a nice touch.

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