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The Book of Costume: or Annals of Fashion (1846) by A Lady of Rank

A fascinating survey of European and, to a much lesser extent, Asian dress as documented by the Countess of Wilton in the first half of the 19th century. More than half of the book is devoted to the fashions of England and France and the full table of contents is shown in the images above. A remarkable collection of information given the era in which it was collected and the wealth of cultures it covers. Naturally it cannot be seen as a definitive work on the subject as many more scholarly publications have been published since its publication, but still a fascinating read and glimpse into the 19th century mind. Annotated with notes and comments by R.L. Shep and supplemented by a biography of the Countess.

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