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Historical Encyclopedia of Costumes Hardcover – October 1, 1988
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From Library Journal
The appearance of Racinet's History of World Costume between 1876 and 1888 was a landmark in publishing history: this six-volume classic was the first large-scale costume book to use high-quality color photography in the reproduction of its sumptuous lithographs. Somewhat eccentric in coverage, it encompassed Europe and lands from Japan to the Arctic Circle and North America but excluded the American colonies. The present volume condenses Racinet's work and translates it into English for the first time. Its 2000 color reproductions cover the upper classes and royalty, as most costume books do, but, more importantly, also depict the working classes, soldiers, and the poor. Though this edition sacrifices glossary and bibliography and pares down the original, it is highly recommended for lay reader and scholar alike. Daniel J. Lombardo, Jones Lib., Inc., Amherst, Mass.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French
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Nevertheless, the sheer variety of illustrations is to be applauded. Most of the world's regions and time periods are exhaustively covered, from Roman armor to the tribal costumes from the New Hebrides to the customary vestments of nuns of the Crusade era (unfortunately, and quite logically, there is no section on modern dress).
However flawed this work is, it does create interest in the subject and can serve as an excellent reference for authors of various forms of fiction.
It might be useful to theatrical costumers, Victorian recreationists or those interested in the history of costume interpretation or illustration. But it does not give accurate representations of the garments illustrated, so if you want to make historical garments, get books with pictures that are actually from the time periods of the clothing you're interested in.