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3.9 out of 5 stars40
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 6 February 2014
I love history and visiting any costume museums or exhibitions. I am fascinated by the way that the clothes were made and adorned in the past. This book was particularly interesting to read because it tells you about the day to day running of the royal wardrobe. You read about the 'accounts' kept and the money owed to various seamstressess for the making of different 'parts' of a garment, for example; a bill for '2 pairs of sleeves with matching bodices in yellow and red', another bill for the seed pearls and gold thread to decorate them.
In 'mixing and matching' different parts of 'a dress' this way, it gave the impression that the owner had many different outfits when in-fact she probably only owned 4 basic underskirts, 6 pair of sleeves, 4 bodices and 4 overskirts that could all be swopped around and changed creating a whole new 'look' each time.
Anne of course had a vast wardrobe and we read of an account entry for '9 diamonds and some emeralds' given to her by Henry to decorate a band worn across the forehead under her 'french cap' (head dress).
Strangely these little details really bought her to life.
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on 27 January 2014
A little gem of a book. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this. If you love Tudor history as I do you will love this book. I wish it had been longer as I finished it quickly as I couldn't put it down.
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on 8 March 2014
I was looking forward to this book, hoping it would have information that was new to me, but unfortunately, it was a disappointment, it only had info that I already new, so if you have read some books on Ann Boleyn I wouldn't recommend this book.
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on 22 February 2014
Bought this as I expected it to be about Anne Boleyn's clothes, jewels etc. in more detail than usual, however, there's nothing here that you won't have come across if you've read any of the standard historians on the period. Having said that, the first chapters were interesting as concerned with the wardrobe itself as a functioning department. It lost a star for author stating the kirtle went on top in one chapter and the gown in another - unclear if author using the terms interchangeably - and a second star for partial lists of effects when a full one might have allowed for reader analysis given author gives little if any. Maybe because of the 'recycling' of clothes its impossible to draw any inferences on Anne's preferences or even seasonal changes in fabrics. Author's stated sources have led me to hunt for other books with more detail. So: good basic introduction to Henry/Anne story but skip it if you've read more scholarly texts on the period.
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on 11 February 2014
This book is a treasure trove of insight into not only the fascinating Anne Boleyn and her clothing but the whole of society at the time and the history of fashion and so much more. Incredible detail is crammed all the way through though the style is very readable and clear. I found myself highlighting much of it and will definitely be coming back time and time again to check up on things and no doubt discover new details too. With more and more historical dramas on television and in literature this is a behind-the-scenes tour like nothing else that really gives you a sense of the scale and endeavour that went into what on the surface might seem glamorous looks - and there's plenty of the less glamorous insights too. Fascinating stuff and highly recommended!
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on 7 March 2014
A fascinating and well-written account of Anne Boleyn and her clothing. It is enormously detailed given its comparative short length, but not a single word is wasted. It’s concise, engaging and thoroughly researched. You do really get a sense of the author's genuine passion for the subject matter, and this enthusiasm sparkles in the text. As an introduction to the subject, it’s superb. My only criticism? It was over too quickly!
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on 24 March 2014
This is quite an interesting book on Anne Boleyn. Have read many documentaries on Anne Boleyn but never knew that she had a wardrobe like the one she had. Was aware that she was somewhat controversial but did not know that she spent a fortune on clothes and much of her expenditure went on clothing. If you like history and if you are into fashion then you are going to like this marvellous read.
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on 8 March 2014
Well I had to give this 5 stars for being such a well written book. Not only is it interesting but very informative, well researched and engaging, I couldn't put it down. Anyone with an interest in Anne Boleyn should buy this book, indeed an interest in the tudors or monarchs of England. Well done Barbara on a top book.
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on 14 January 2015
Wonderfully written and very intriguing! I enjoy reading about the tudor period in history. This book was easy to follow and cited quite a few interesting sources from which data was gathered. I thoroughly enjoyed it and very impressed with how well it is written. I recommend this book wholeheartedly.
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on 16 August 2014
Some lovely insights into the customs and dress of Anne's Tudor period. because I have read several novels about the period of Henry V111, it was gratifying to have the dress detail fleshed out and proven by Ms Bell's research. It seemed rather short and I was left hankering for more of the same.
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