Because it is difficult to judge a reference book's usefulness merely by its title and cover, we've added this page to Literary Liaisons. Every other month, we will feature one of the books listed in our "Researching the Romance" pages.
Below you will find a short description of the featured book, the table of contents, bibliographic information, and where possible, a scan of the cover. This page will also provide you with a direct link to Amazon.com so you may easily purchase this book on-line.
If any readers have a review, or have found this book to be particularly useful, I welcome comments, and will add them to the page. Simply e-mail us at LiteraryLiaisons@aol.com with your report.
Once a book has been featured, the title will remain as a link at the end of this page so you may reference it at a later date. So don't worry if you can't visit us that often. Also, the newsletter lists new featured books. To sign up for direct delivery of the newsletter, click on "Newsletter" below.
This month's feature:
"Victorian Fashion for Women and Children: Society's Impact on Dress"
(Check Amazon.com for pricing--discounts may vary.)
A Note on Women's and Children's Clothing Styles
PART I: General Topics
Chapter 1. Underclothes
Chapter 2. Leisure Wear
Chapter 3. Children's vs. Women's Clothing
PART II: Women's and Children's Street Apparel
Chapter 4. 1860-1864
Chapter 5. 1865-1868
Chapter 6. 1869-1875
Chapter 7. 1876-1878
Chapter 8. 1879-1882
Chapter 9. 1883-1888
Chapter 10. 1889-1892
Chapter 11. 1893-1896
Chapter 12. 1897-1900
PART III: Boy's Gallery
Chapter 13. Boy's Clothing
SYNOPSIS:I recently had the opportunity to review Victorian Costume for Ladies 1860-1900 by Linda Setnik, a fascinating look at fashion through photographs from the era. I am pleased to say that the author has followed up with another wonderful resource - Victorian Fashions for Women and Children: Society’s Impact on Dress. This new book covers the same years, 1860-1900, but looks more closely at children’s fashions, and how society influenced styles for both women and children.
What I found particularly interesting is the way fashion magazines criticized the contemporary woman of the day for sticking to impractical styles, yet continued to feature them in their pages. Saying we are slaves to fashion was never more prevalent than in the Victorian Era. Women wore layers and layers (sometimes as many as ten) no matter what the weather. Tight lacing and corsets forced organs into places they shouldn’t be. There are amazing examples of abnormally small waistlines in the photos accompanying the text.
Sadly, women not only followed these fashions, but inflicted the same upon their daughters at a young age. Children dressed like small adults except for shorter skirts and less ornamentation. I was surprised to learn that boys dressed identical to girls for longer than I thought. They normally wore dresses until the age of five or six, and sometimes even until their teenage years. Their hair, while usually short, was parted on the side, while girls parted their hair in the center, which is sometime the only distinguishable feature in a photo. The wealthier classes kept boys in dresses longer. There were no gender distinctions, as a result. All were simply children whose mothers didn’t want them to grow up.
In addition to fashion trends, Ms. Setnik covers leisure wear, which would hardly be considered ‘leisurely’ by our standards, since it allowed for little movement. Also covered are hairstyles and accessories like jewelry, stocking and sashes.
Each chapter covers several years, explaining the sometimes subtle changes from season to season. Waistlines dropped or rose, went from straight to pointed, hemlines of overskirts rose and fell, skirt and bustle sizes changed shape and size, sleeves puffed, and silhouettes slimmed. The photographs can be dated by identifying these changes.
Some additional features are an extensive bibliography to continue your research, and a price guide for valuing the clothing.
This book shows that Ms. Setnik thoroughly researched the topic, and is an expert in the field. I enjoyed seeing the photographs of contemporary women, rather than perfect models, and learned many new facts and details from this fascinating era.
TO ORDER THIS BOOK, /font> CLICK HERE!
Past Feature Titles
Click on the bullet next to the title to see the detailed summary.
VVictorian Costume for Ladies 1860-1900 by Linda Setnik
Every Writer's Guide to Copyright and Publishing Law/strong> by Ellen M. Kozak
Victorian Cottage Residences by Andrew Jackson Downing
Are You My Type? Am I Yours? by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele
The Victorian Frame of Mind by Walter E. Houghton
Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern
The Pre-Raphaelites by Christopher Wood
The Writer's Guide to Character Traits by Linda Edelstein, PhD
Pictorial Encyclopedia of Historic Architectural Plans, Details and Elements by John Theodore Haneman
How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey
Hints on Household Taste by Charles L. Eastlake
Steal This Plot by June and William Noble
Moseman's Illustrated Catalog of Horse Furnishing Goods by C.M. Moseman and Brother
The Timetables of History by Bernard Grun
Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
The Victorian Kitchen by Jennifer Davies
You Can Market Your Book by Carmen Leal
Victorian Things by Asa Briggs
Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
Dickens's Dictionary of London by Charles Dickens
Type Talk by Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Theusen
The Victorian Underworld by Donald Thomas
Organize Yourself! by Roni Eisenberg
The Dialects of England by Peter Trudgill
The Career Novelist by Donald Maass
Milord and Milady by Nina Epton
From Printout to Published by Michael Seidman
Victorian Fashions & Costumes from Harper's Bazar: 1867-1898 Edited by Stella Blum
Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern
Seven Centuries of English Cooking by Maxime de la Falaise
100 Things Every Writer Needs to Know by Scott Edelstein
British English A to Zed by Norman W. Schur
Career Opportunities For Writers by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
Personal Beauty by D.G. Brinton, M.D. and G.H. Napheys, M.D.
The New Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Leman
From the Ballroom to Hell: Grace and Folly in Nineteenth Century Dance by Elizabeth Aldrich
The History of Underclothes by C. Willett and Phillis Cunnington
Descriptionary: A Thematic Dictionary by Marc McCutcheon
writing.com by Moira Anderson Allen
Daily Life in a Victorian House by Laura Wilson
Building Better Plots by Robert Kernan
Facts In a Flash by Ellen Metter
A History of Jewellery by Joan Evans
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Your Romance Published by Julie Beard
The Writer's Legal Companion by Brad Bunnin and Peter Beren
The House Beautiful by Clarence Cook
Your Novel Proposal: From Creation to Contract by Blythe Camenson and Marshall J. Cook
English Through the Ages by William Brohaugh
Conflict, Action and Suspense by William Noble
To Marry an English Lord by Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace
Creating Characters: How to Build Story People by Dwight Swain
Life at the Court of Queen Victoria by Barry St-John Nevill
The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England: From 1811-1901 by Kristine Hughes
Building Believable Characters by Marc McCutcheon
English Women's Clothing in the Nineteenth Century by C. Willett Cunnington
What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool
*NOTE: Prices are current when the page is posted on the site. Amazon.com may change the pricing policy at any time.
To The Top | About Literary Liaisons | Author Links | Bookstore Index | Fiction | Non-Fiction | Feature Title | Used Book Store | Victorian Research Guide | 101 Organizing Tips | Video Library | Newsletter | Research Articles | Reference Books | On-line Resources | RWA Chapters | Sign Our Guestbook | Contact Us | Home
This page last updated February 23, 2013
Copyright 1998-99, 2000-13 Literary Liaisons
Artwork courtesy ofMarvelicious and Angel's Free Web graphics