Historic Costume in Pictures


It's amazing how quickly the world changes. When I first got this book in the early 1980s, it was a stupendous resource. It has nearly 1500 costumes from all periods in history, rendered in stunning detail. You can see the ruffles of lace on a dress. The gentle folds of fabric. You get peasants and nobles, religious people and soldiers. You get Biblical times, the Renaissance, Medieval Ages, and pretty much everything else. Even if your interest is just in one particular period (I'm fond of the Medieval period) there's a wealth of information to work with.

Fast forward to the days of the Internet and now people complain "Well, these are all historic images from the 1800s - meaning they're out of copyright. And they're now mostly online!" I suppose that is now true. Even so, there are times that having a nicely done large-size printout in front of you is far better than a fuzzy scan someone posted on a webpage which may or may not be there tomorrow. I definitely appreciate having a printed copy in front of me which I know is always on my shelf and printed at a good quality level.

There are people who complain that this is black and white. Did you look at the low price tag of the book? :). If this book was full glossy color, for probably 250 pages, it would be MUCH more expensive. Also, as one can see from the historical documents created by Braun & Schneider, the color versions were fairly randomly painted in. They weren't necessarily historically accurate, in terms of the color. That could lead to HUGE problems for anybody actually using a color version as a guide for costume or research. I far prefer the black and white. That means I can research for myself which colors would be appropriate for a given situation without being misled by what an artist in the 1800s decided a dress "should be".

Also, the original plates (which one usually finds online) had German information - it's helpful to have the English translation here. So you can more easily tell if someone is a merchant, a servant, a General, or so on.

All in all, I highly recommend this book for anybody interested in traditional outfits. If there is a very specific item of clothing you're looking for, look through the table of contents first to make sure it's covered, but other than that, the book has pretty much everything one could want for most purposes.

Buy Historic Costume in Pictures from Amazon.com

books about the Middle Ages and Medieval times

Medieval Romance Basics
Medieval Romance for Villagers
Medieval Romance for Nobles
Medieval Romance for Men
Medieval Romance for Women

Life in Medieval Days

Lisa's Medieval Romances
Seeking the Truth
Knowing Yourself
A Sense of Duty

Online Literary Magazines

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