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Medieval Costume in England and France: The 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries (Dover Fashion and Costumes) Paperback – 26 Aug 1996

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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  • Medieval Costume in England and France: The 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries (Dover Fashion and Costumes)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; New edition edition (26 Aug. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486290603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486290607
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 1.4 x 20.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 222,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Don't let the tiny price fool you! This slim volume is worth its weight in gold for anyone seeking to study and/or replicate period costume. Clothing for the common folk, royalty and the clergy are meticulously examined and discussed. The only lack is any discussion of undergarments, the book focusing only on tunics, surcoats, cloaks, shoes and head coverings. We are left to wonder what sort of leggings, stockings, drawers, petticoats, corsets or chemises they might have worn.
It is easy to follow the development of line and cut through the centuries. Many detailed line drawings, along with some coloured plates give a good indication of details of construction and trim. It is easy to create patterns of any size from these drawings. Many drawings of the effigies of deceased monarchs and their consorts give an especially typical illustration of their favoured clothing. We can assume that the folk of their period followed their royalty's tastes during the reign and for some time afterward.
There is a very good section on embroideried trims and fabrics, and some treatment of jewelry as well. The head coverings for women are especially well covered. Armor and chain mail, and some weaponry are well discussed and illustrated.
A particularly interesting point is that the reigns of the monarchs of England, France and Germany are presented in table form for each century, complete w/ dates. Having this information compiled in this fashion is invaluable when one needs to be very accurate in construction of period garb, and may have not much more to go on than the name of the monarch of the time.
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By RJP Book Boy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent reference on medieval costume. There is lots of useful information and illuatrations on all types of costume from this period. This book is about the use of costume and styles rather than how to make it. If you're looking for a book on how to construcvt costume this won't be of much help[ but as a research tool it is very good. A useful addition to my wifes library on costume design.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book, just the right size to carry around, but packed with information.

It was researched and written in the 1930s, and is very much a product of its time. Although scholarship regarding medieval art has come on a long way in the meantime (which anyone who's studied medieval art will notice from the very beginning), this is still a scholarly guide.

And that, for me, is the great strength of this book. Houston has cited her sources. She tells you where the manuscripts and other artworks are which contains the illustrations she's used. She gives the details of the garments she herself has studied. She doesn't leave you guessing about where her information has come from, unlike many more recent histories of fashion that I could name.

For the re-enactor, LARPer, costume designer etc., there are very useful sections on pattern cutting and construction. Beginniners might need a bit of help, especially on sizing and how best to lay out your pattern on your fabric, but there are plenty on excellent free guides online to help with that.

In short, I'm really glad I bought this book, and I can see it coming in very useful.
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By A Customer on 4 April 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is a necessary addition to the library of anyone who is reproducing costumes from cotehardies to houpelandes. The references are sometimes difficult to follow; however, the costumes are cross-referenced to easily follow the developments of fashion during the Gothic and early-Renaissance periods. It also contains pattern layouts and piecing guides for some of the articles of clothing.
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Format: Paperback
This book contains a wide range of well-researched and accurate images, backed up with good ideas for costuming the medieval re-enactor or clothing enthusiast. It is very well laid out and a great place to start. It was a little disappointing that this version does not contain colour images though, as the original hardback copy did. Still an excellent and informative book.
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By A Customer on 31 Dec. 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a great book for anyone interested in the clothing of this period. It's an easy read, and there's lots of patterns printed, in addition to pictures of people wearing the fashions. It allows you to see clearly the progression of fashion from 1200 to 1500.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gorgeous small-ish book packed with info on clothes and costume in many social layers. Very interesting with the section about ecclesiastical costume, I never saw that in any other book about this kind of topic!
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Format: Paperback
Medieval Costume in England and France: The 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries Not an easy read, images of costume are not set next to the text, so at times you are not sure if what you are reading relates to the image.
Some nice images of tomb effiges make for interesting research. Not a good example for actually creating costume, have seen better. Certainly not for the novice seamstress.
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