Title: Fashion in the Time of Jane Austen
Author: Sarah Jane Downing
Publication Date: 2010
Source: Xmas Gift
The broader Regency
period 1795-1820 stands alone as an incredible moment in fashion history
unlike anything that went before or after. It was the most naked period
since Ancient Greece and before the 1960s, and for the first time
England became a fashion influence, especially for menswear, and became
the toast of Paris. With the ancient regime deposed, court dress became
secondary and the season by season flux of fashion as we know it came
into being, aided and abetted by the proliferation of new ladies'
Such an age of revolution and innovation inspired a
flood of fashions taking influence from everything including the newly
discovered treasures of the ancient world, to radical new ideas like
democracy. It was an era of contradiction immortalized by Jane Austen,
who adeptly used the newfound diversity of fashion to enliven her
characters, Wickham's military splendor, Mr. Darcy's understated
elegance, and Miss Tilney's romantic fixation with white muslin. (Goodreads Synopsis)
Fashion in the Time of Jane Austen was an interesting read as I liked the way the author linked fashion changes to the events that influenced them. However, I would have liked the book to be a little longer to include more information on the clothing of the day, even if it was only in the form of a glossary that listed every item of clothing with a short sentence on what it was and when it was worn.
As an author, I want to make my works historically accurate and I have yet to find a decent book on Georgian/Regency fashion that gives me a definite answer regarding my questions on their mode of dress. I'd hoped this would be the one, but sadly not. Still, it was engaging and will please Jane Austen fans.