The Clothing of the Common Sort, 1570-1700... (Book published


Book Details

Author  Margaret Spufford
Publisher  Oxford University Press
Publication Date   January 2, 2018
ISBN  019880704X
Pages  351

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Most histories of costume in early modern Britain concentrate on the clothing of the social elite--on the silks and embroidery worn by courtiers, aristocrats, performers, the metropolitan rich. These are both more likely to have been documented, and more likely to have survived in museum collections. But it leaves out almost all of the clothes worn by almost all of the population. The Clothing of the Common Sort focuses on the clothing of children and young adults of the "common sort" during the period 1570 to 1700--the sons and daughters of "ordinary" people going about their daily lives in towns and villages across England. The study employs a number of innovative sources not previously exploited for the purpose, including probate accounts and inventories.

The volume also examines the acquisition of clothing, from purchase of fabric, through production by tailors and 'women with a needle', to payment for ready-made items. In so doing, it uncovers evidence of the myriad tradesmen, craftsmen, artisans and "women with a needle" who were involved in the production and dissemination of clothing and accessories in towns and villages across England in the late 16th and 17th centuries.

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