The ladies of 1813 are cooler, I would think, than the gentleman Susan showed us yesterday. I love the “to display perhaps rather too much of the bosom,” etc. They don’t usually editorialize—except about French fashions.
PLATE 5. — MORNING WALKING DRESS.
A CAMBRIC or jaconot muslin round robe, with long sleeves and falling collar, trimmed with a plaiting of net, or edged with lace, finished at the feet with a border of needle-work. A Cossack mantle of Pomona green-shot sarsnet, lined throughout with white silk, and bordered with a double row of Chinese binding, the ends finished with rich correspondent tassels, and a cape formed of double and deep vandyke lace. A provincial poke bonnet, of yellow quilted satin; ribband to correspond with the mantle, puffed across the crown, and tied under the chin; a small cluster of flowers placed on the left side, similar to those on the small lace cap which is seen beneath. Parasol and shoes the colour of the mantle, and gloves a pale tan colour.
PLATE 6.— EVENING OR FULL DRESS COSTUME.
A round robe of pale jonquil or canary-coloured crape, worn over a white satin slip; short sleeves composed of the shell-scallopped lace and satin, decorated with bows on the shoulders, and formed so as to display perhaps rather too much of the bosom, back, and shoulders; a broad scallopped lace finishes the robe at the feet, above which is placed a double row of plaited ribband, and a diamond clasp confines the waist in front. A Prussian helmet cap of canary-coloured sarsnet, frosted with silver, diadem and tassels to correspond; a full plume of curled ostrich feathers, inclining towards one side of the helmet; the hair divided in front of the forehead, and in loose curls on each side, with a single stray ringlet falling on the left shoulder. A cross of diamonds, suspended from a gold chain, ornaments the throat and bosom—ear-rings and bracelets to suit. Slippers of canary-coloured satin, trimmed with silver. Gloves of French kid; fan of carved ivory. An occasional scarf or shawl of white lace.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.