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Fashions After the Era of Jane Austen: Ackermann's Repository of Arts Paperback – March 10, 2015
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From the Author
I have received comments from readers that the text is nearly impossible to comprehend. I don't understand everything that's in the text, either. Though the primary intent is to offer a pictorial of the images published exclusively from Ackermann's Repository of Arts, regard this as an opportunity to expand your knowledge of a special era, both in the visual and language contents of the books.
It is important to note the descriptions are as they appeared in the magazine. The punctuation, spelling, sentence structure and even word usage is completely different from today's language and sometimes even varied from one issue to the next.
Considerable effort has been directed at precisely providing the text as it was originally written. Truly, what you think could be a mistake is actually how it was originally printed and appreciated by contemporaries of Jane Austen. This also provides an interesting study in compare and contrast to the language Austen used in her novels.
Working on these books drives me nuts sometimes because I am thinking,"gosh the reader is going to think this is a mistake."
About the Author
JODY GAYLE, bestselling author and researcher, likens her work to that of a literary archeologist rather than a traditional author. She is dedicated to unearthing publications of the past, and sharing these long-forgotten books... the jewels and riches of the written word. She has uncovered tens of thousands of old publications from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and wants to bring them to life, and send her readers traveling back in time.
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Ms. Gayle has given us another gem. She goes directly to the source: Ackermann's Repository of the Arts, a popular woman's magazine in Georgian England. Moreover, each of these stunning fashion prints is accompanied by its original text, carefully presented with sometimes-archaic spellings that lend (if possible) even more authenticity.
"The illustrations need to be described in the language of their time," Ms. Gayle writes in her preface. "The words add a whole new depth to the illustrations and, most importantly, a glimpse into the culture."
I concur. One particularly vital reason for including these rather comprehensive written descriptions is that they describe what types of fabrics were used in each facet of the dress. This is of immense importance to historical writers.
In addition, each hairstyle depicted is described. Here's an example: "The hind hair is arranged in braids and bows, which do not rise much above the crown of the head. The front hair is brought very low at the sides of the face in light curls: the forehead is left bare, with the exception of a single ringlet in the middle. A coral wreath is placed rather far back."
Fabrics of gloves and shoes are also given, as well as explanations of jewelry worn.
An added bonus for us historical writers is little plugs—with locations—of various tradespersons associated with the dress.
Just about one hundred fashion plates are featured, and these include morning dress, promenade dress, wedding dress, evening dress, ball dress, carriage dress, head dress (which features multiple prints of head wear), full dress, walking dress, and garden costume. The prints in this new book are of considerably higher quality than the ones in the first.
I am indebted to Ms. Gayle and to my fellow author of historical romance, Candice Hern, for making this book possible: Ms. Gayle, for dedicating herself to unearthing publications from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and bringing them to life; Candice, whose wonderful website inspired Ms. Gayle's passion for early nineteenth-century fashion.