- Paperback: 348 pages
- Publisher: R. L. Shep Publications (January 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0914046098
- ISBN-13: 978-0914046097
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.5 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,503,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Civil War Ladies: Fashions and Needle-Arts of the Early 1860's
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Top customer reviews
It consists of reprints from the original Peterson's Magazine, and might seem a little dry for the armchair Victorian enthusiast. This is not a coffee table book, but rather a terrific source manual for anyone with real interest in authenticity or re-enactment. Many articles, songs with sheet music, fashion plate illustrations and loads of original pattern diagrams for women's clothing and needlework/embroidery which I LOVE. Some of the pattern diagrams are familiar, having been reprinted elsewhere, but many are not. It's virtually a window into another time, enabling you to actually hear the music they heard, read the stories they read, reproduce the clothing they wore.
The book is in black and white, as the original magazine was, but pretty clearly printed for the most part, and it's fairly big. Pages and pages and pages, which justifies spending 30 bucks on a softcover manual. Whether you are just beginning to delve into history and Victoriana/Civil War or are an enthusiast/re-enactor, this book is an excellent reference and full of original period material.
The limitations of the book are due to the limitations of the source material itself -- art work is pen-and-ink drawings, and the printing is small and sometimes hard to follow. But that's part of dealing with a primary source.
Good as a companion to more detailed books about reenactments and costume history (authors such Janet Arnold, Jean Hunnisett, Nancy Bradfield, the Cunningtons, and Norah Waugh). Probably wouldn't stand alone or be that good for a beginner since it would need some "interpretation" for the modern reader; the introduction to the book covers the limitations and would be good to review before delving into the work itself.
I found the close-ups of the hair styles and gowns to be helpful, but again, the novice might be asking, "Where do I go from here?"