Fashion in the Time of Jane Austen

Fashion in the Time of Jane Austen

Paperback Shire Library

By (author) Sarah-jane Downing

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  • Publisher: SHIRE PUBLICATIONS LTD
  • Format: Paperback | 56 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 206mm x 8mm | 141g
  • Publication date: 23 March 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Buckinghamshire
  • ISBN 10: 0747807671
  • ISBN 13: 9780747807674
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations (chiefly col.)
  • Sales rank: 39,309

Product description

The broader Regency period 1795 to 1820, stands alone as an incredible moment in fashion history, unlike anything that went before it. For the first time, England became a fashion influence, especially for menswear, and became the toast of Paris, as court dress became secondary to the season-by-season flux of fashion as we know it today. Sarah Jane Downing explores the fashion revolution and the innovation that inspired a flood of fashions taking influence from far afield. It was an era of contradiction immortalised by Jane Austen, who adeptly used the new-found diversity of fashion to enliven her characters: Wickham's military splendour; Mr Darcy's understated elegance; and Miss Tilney's romantic fixation with white muslin.

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Author information

Sarah Jane Downing is a freelance writer with a special interest in the eighteenth century. She has written widely about the arts, contributing to national and local magazines and newspapers. She is the author of "The English Pleasure Garden."

Review quote

"An intriguing look into the fashions of England during Jane Austen's life...providing insightful perspectives on Austen's use of fashion in her books, including "Pride and Prejudice" and Man"sfield Park," among others. Complete with images on nearly every page, the book gives readers the opportunity to see the fashions of this age depicted in sketches, portraits and photographs of clothing surviving to this day, including some of Austen's own belongings. The book's frequent references to Austen's novels are crowned with excerpts from her letters, detailing an attention to the fashion of the time."--"Deseret News" "A comprehensive overview...Deeply informative...Extremely authoritative...easily accessible and injected throughout with many wryly humorous asides and pertinent observations. It is also full of well argued insights into social behaviours as dictated by the fashions of the time...With sumptuous colour and black and white images from the period, including portraits, sketches, and photographs of extant clothing examples, this compact account is a wonderful resource for costume and fashion design students and professionals alike. It will also have a broader appeal to literary and social history enthusiasts, with numerous quotes from Austen's books and letters that reinforce the author's compelling arguments and astute observations. Highly recommended."--Vintage Fashion Guild "Lavishly illustrated with a fine cross-section of illustrations from the period...Ties the life of Austen into the events happening in Britain and abroad, and how they affected the fashions and social lives of Regency men and women. This is definitely a book for Austen fans, and devotees of the Regency period. It is written with a light touch and an eye to the realities of dressing in fine and costly fabrics. The attention to menswear is particularly interesting. I was also taken with the reference to Rousseau's theories about childhood freedom and how it affected clothes for children. Whilst clearly passionate about her subject, Downing is not above bringing in the voice of the satirists who mocked the fashionable. This is a valuable little volume for anyone interested in Regency costume, and very handy for anyone writing about the period: both distracting and informative." --"Georgian London " "Jam-packed with information and images...I will be using it frequently for future reference... Recommend[ed] highly to all readers who are interested in Regency fashion and historical romance writers who are interested in precise details of dress." --"Jane Austen's World "

Table of contents

The Age of Elegance The Rise of English Fashion A Fine Romance Beau Brummell and the Great Renunciation Rousseau and Fashion au Naturel Reticule and Ridicule After the Age of Elegance Index