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Ancient European Costume and Fashion (Dover Fashion and Costumes) Paperback – June 10, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Fashion and Costumes
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (June 10, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486407233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486407234
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #676,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Raymond on July 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Of all the Herbert Norris books I have read, this one suffers the most from his preconceptions and inaccuracies. It is also the one that has suffered most from the passage of time, as subsequent archaeological research has revealed errors in what was considered, in Norris's day, to be "factual" information about costume. The best thing about his book, in my opinion, is the meticulous line drawings of brooches and other items of period jewelry, but again, more recently published works contain excellent, full-color photographs of the same or similar specimens. Read this book if you enjoy Norris's style, but do not accept anything in it blindly as much of it is plain wrong.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
There are hundreds of books on Costume history, ranging from the Egyptians through to this century. Almost all of them ignore the period known of as the Dark Ages. Not only does this book go into detail on the costumes worn by the Celts, the Gauls, and the Goths, it also tells some of their history. The book is mostly text supported by mainly black and white illustrations. I personally found it very informative.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "daniel0302" on August 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
Now dated, this 1926 publication is still worth using in conjunction with other texts. Granted some of this work has since been shown to be inaccurate by more recent scholarship. Furthermore his attitudes and observations are not only dated and politically incorrect, in the context of the 21st Century could also be considered racist. That said, Norris' body of work deserves our respect as being equaled by few of his generation (and surpassed by none). He has also proved to be a stepping-stone for future costumes historians - just check out the bibliographies of some important costume history texts and see how many reference Norris.
Many of Norris' statements are a little questionable. The stone-age chapter is almost charming in its dated naiveté, and is by no means a reliable reference. The Greek chapter is also filled with questionable statements, and in other places one gets the impression that Norris is putting forth conjecture as truth. However, many of his observations are of great use. For instance, the account of the evolution of the pallium - its journey from the voluminous philosophers cloak in Greece, through Roman and Byzantine usage, to a finally a narrow band of fabric used as a Christian vestment even today - is clearer than in any other publication I have ever seen.
As with all his books, all the illustrations are redrawn by Norris himself and no primary source material is illustrated. This is typical of most costume texts published prior to the 1960s and is not a further reflection on Norris' scholarship.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Norris has fallen out of favor as a source for scholarly study of archeological textiles, but if you remember that he was working with far less than we have available today, this is a good source of ideas.
You really can't use it to see where, for instance, the seams are, or exactly what the shape of the shoes were, but the over all profiles are good, and the jewelry seems accurate, if limited.
He seems to have used mostly paintings of the time as sources, not a lot of extant textiles, but again, remembering that, the book is quite useful. Sometimes it is difficult to see details on paintings, and the line drawings make this much easier.
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