“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 Mansfield 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
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