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on 22 June 2010
This book will be loved by anyone with an interest in Jane Austen or the society she depicted so beautifully in her writing.

Illustrations from the period are placed alongside very readable and interesting passages that connect the styles and trends to the political and social context of the day. Thus, it is part social anthropology, part 'Vogue' article!

In particular, the illustrations of outfits for a variety of occasions are a joy in themselves. For anyone with a love of fashion, it's fascinating to see how much English and European styles have changed since Austen's time, while some of our attitudes to clothes and to presenting ourselves through them remain the same.

It is in short, a really lovely little book that I would recommend to all.
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on 2 July 2013
This little book is a very nice introduction on Regency fashion. Although only about 60 pages, it is very concise and informative, as it documents all the developments in fashion both for men and women during Jane Austen's lifetime. It is fascinating to see to what extend the political and social changes of the time influenced the way people dressed and how the new philosophical ideas were reflected on the new trends. The well researched and easy to read text is accompanied by many wonderful illustrations from the period, and also by photographs of items of clothing that either belonged to Jane Austen herself, or were created by her.

I always liked the clothes of that period, but I never realized what radical changes occurred in fashion during Austen's time, and how fortunate my favorite authoress was to have lived in a time when women's fashion was so liberating and relaxed, as opposed to the restrictive clothes worn before her time and later during the Victorian era.

The book is lovely and I highly recommend it for anyone with an interest in Georgian and Regency fashion, as well as for all those Jane Austen fans, like me, who love to read about her world. However, it has to be said, that this is more an introduction on the period's fashion, rather than an extensive, in depth research on the subject. Also, if you are interested in recreating the clothes worn at that time, this book has no instructions or patterns.
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on 3 November 2013
Contains paintings and a few fashion plates of the period. It is a quick read but the information is a little more brief than other sources
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on 19 November 2014
As one would expect from Shire, this is an extremely well produced publication, with plenty of high quality pictures, all of which are artistically laid out, and the text is beautifully printed. Sarah Jane Downing is also an informative, knowledgeable, clear and concise writer, who manages to pack in a great deal of detail to what is essentially a primer for those interested in the dress of the period. My one reservation is that while there is an appropriate acknowledgement set out for the illustrations, there is a lack of explanatory footnotes, for example, there are pictures of genuine items of dress from the time, and some background information about their provenance, location and accessibility would be very helpful. This is a minor criticism, though, for an enlightening books that whets the appetite for further research.
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on 21 July 2014
Okay but rather short on content and more illustrations would have been useful even in black and white sketch form. It's a sort of very small coffee table book. Lovely to look at and an easy read
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on 2 February 2016
Bought this as a smaller Christmas gift (along with another Georgian era book) for my wife, who is very interested in this author and period. She enjoyed it, but it seemed to be short on content; nevertheless a recommended book for those interested in this period.
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on 1 May 2015
This is a fascinating window into the past, providing a wealth of colourful detail about the fashion times of Jane Austen with plenty of high quality art work, you do get a lot for such a small outlay, I can recommend this for all Janeites.
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on 18 April 2015
It is just what I wanted and arrived in very good time. Thank you. James
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on 4 September 2015
excellent, esp the water color of ms austen, when visiting carlton house
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on 3 July 2016
A slight monograph or essay really. Not very informative - would have liked much more detail and better references. Illustrations were quite good but often badly placed and with little reference to the text. Altogether too superficial - and far too many exclamation marks, indicating the work of an enthusiastic amateur. Described in the blurb as a freelance writer, Ms Dowding is clearly not a historian - I'm not
sure she is even a writer.
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