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The captivating story of Tudor dress, its construction and symbolism, and the people who made and wore it
The Tudor monarchs and their courtiers are some of the best-known figures in history. They continue, even today, to spark our curiosity and imagination. Their enduring popularity is no doubt partly due to the iconic portraits in which they are depicted in magnificent style, in farthingales and ruffs, furs and jewels, codpieces and cloaks, and vast expanses of velvet and silk. Far from being mere decoration, fashion was pivotal in the communication of status and power. It was used as a tool in securing and holding the tenuous Tudor throne and as a competitive weapon in the factions, intrigues and love-affairs of the court.
This book presents new information about the fashions of the Tudor dynasty, offering fresh insight into their social and political milieu. Histories of Kings and Queens complement stories of unsung dressmakers, laundresses, and officials charged with maintaining and transporting the immense Tudor wardrobes from palace to palace. Evidence from rare surviving garments and textiles, original documents, fine and decorative art, and archaeological findings enhance our understanding of the Tudors and their courts. Handsomely illustrated, this sumptuous book contextualises Tudor dress within the buildings in which it was worn and fills in gaps in our knowledge of the period and its fascinating historical figures.
About the Author
Eleri Lynn is a fashion historian and curator at Historic Royal Palaces.
“Lynn ably demonstrates the central importance of clothes: their meaning; manufacture; care; and legacy. Lavishly illustrated and engagingly written, it reveals the Tudors in a whole new light.”—Tracy Borman, Historians Favourites 2017, BBC History “Along with the sumptuous photographs of fabrics, objects, and paintings, the book offers a great deal of information about the social meaning of dress as a form of ‘competitive magnificence.’”—Douglas Bisson, Choice “The book does an excellent job of ensuring that visitors to Hampton Court and the other Royal Historic Palaces gain a strong sense of how seriously clothing was taken in the past and why it deserves to be studied with care today.”—Evelyn Welch, Renaissance Quarterly Winner of the 2019 Historians of British Art Award, a single-authored book with a subject before 1600 category