In 1562, François Deserps published a book titled (in English translation) "A Collection of the various styles of clothing which are presently worn in countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the savage islands, all realistically depicted." Based on information Deserps claimed to have received from travelers about the garments worn by people from distant lands, this collection has been called the earliest book published in France on ethnography and costume. It was originally intended to be read by children, specifically the eight-year-old Henry of Navarre, the future King Henry IV. In it, clerics, aristocrats, soldiers, peasants, men, women, and even a few monsters are pictured in 121 woodcut illustrations, each accompanied by four lines of verse describing some aspect of the person or clothing portrayed.
This beautifully produced facsimile edition includes full-color illustrations, translations of the verses and the original introductory material by Sara Shannon, and an introduction by Carol Urness.
François Deserps lived in Paris in the mid-sixteenth century. He was involved in the book trade, as a bookseller as well as a writer.
Sara Shannon has studied medieval history at the University of Minnesota, the Sorbonne, and Columbia University.
Distributed for the James Ford Bell Library, University of Minnesota