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The Historical Encyclopedia of Costumes by…
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The Historical Encyclopedia of Costumes

by Albert Racinet

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Originally published as "Le Costume Historique" in six volumes between 1876 and 1888, this work is noted for its scope and detail. Racinet's research was meticulous, and the resulting book, adorned with his idiosyncratic comments, is a comprehensive survey of contemporary costume. This translated reproduction offers an insight to 19th-century thought and knowledge as well as a thorough investigation of costume to the end of the 1880s, reflecting the world as Racinet knew it and history as he understood it. The flavour of his text has been retained with his observations and wry comments on the customs of people from faraway places. From North America to Japan, from the bushmen of the Kalahari to the Eskimo, and from the Middle Ages to the author's 19th-century contemporaries, the costumes of kings, paupers, soldiers, scholars and the bourgeoisie are illustrated in more than 2000 lithographs.
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