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Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd (1988)

by Janet Arnold

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339354,073 (4.96)5
The vast wardrobe of Queen Elizabeth I is legendary: in her own time some of the richly embroidered gowns were displayed with other treasures to dazzle the eyes of foreign visitors to the Tower of London. The quantity of clothes recorded in the inventories taken in 1600 would seem to suggest sheer vanity, but a survey of work carried out in the Wardrobe of Robes throughout the reign reveals a different picture. It is one of careful organisation and economy. This copiously annotated work is illustrated with photographs of portraits, miniatures, tomb sculptures, engravings, woven textiles and embroideries. Two indexes are provided, the first of paintings, persons, places, and events, while the second, partly a glossary, enables the reader to quickly trace information on fashionable dress and accessories. An invaluable reference for students of the history of dress and embroidery, for social historians, for art historians working in the field of portraiture, and those with a general interest in the period. Case-bound in cloth with dust jacket.… (more)

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Note: The mostly black & white portraits in the book can be found in color on the web at Luminarium's "Portraits of Queen Elizabeth The First," organized in three groups/links by her age.

This detailed guide to how Elizabeth I's wardrobe was conceived, sewn, transported, tracked, the gowns "handed down" to others, etc. is scholarly and obviously a work of love by the author. I find it fascinating as a novice, although the book was written both for professionals and amateurs. ( )
  Diane-bpcb | Mar 19, 2013 |
This book has rapidly become the standard when it comes to information about Elizabethan clothing. The focus is on the wardrobe of Queen Elizabeth I, with a listing of her clothing and personal wardrobe inventories. It includes detailed photos of extant garments and photos of paintings, both those seen in other books, and some seen only here. There are photos of grave monuments, with details of the clothing depicted there, so there is a wealth of information that can be applied to non-royal garments of this time, as well. Anyone doing Elizabethan re-enactment, making clothing compatible with this time period, or simply wanting to understand what it meant to be Queen from a material point of view needs this book. ( )
5 vote EowynA | Oct 28, 2008 |
Some of the most increadable examples of cloth and garments I have ever seen. Then again, she WAS the Queen... ( )
1 vote hsifeng | Mar 27, 2008 |
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