November 7, 2019

How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! - Jane Austen

Hilary (left) and Jane in the limelight at the launch of "Dress in the Age of Jane Austen" at Sands Films’ 18th century style theatre

Dress historian Hilary Davidson is on board for The Tudor Tailor’s Missing Persons conference next April. She will bring all the evidence for ordinary people’s clothes presented by the other speakers together by arguing for reconstruction as a rigorous and revealing research methodology. Her recent paper in Fashion Theory explores this idea in detail with examples, including The Tudor Tailor’s reconstruction work, which she says “embodies this approach”.
Hilary was curator of fashion and decorative arts at the Museum of London until 2012. She was a very helpful and hospitable host to The Tudor Tailor during that time. Hilary alerted Jane and Ninya to a number of items in the collection relevant to The Typical Tudor and made time for detailed examinations offering her own useful insights. Hilary was also a big part of the work that became Knitting in Early Modern Europe, Jane’s recent research project in Denmark. Many of the knitted caps from the Museum of London’s collection are now available to view in great detail via the project’s website. Hilary also wrote the foreword to The King’s Servants: men’s dress at the accession of Henry VIII (published 2009).
Hilary’s own big news is that Tuesday 12 November 2019 sees the official release of Dress in the Age of Jane Austen, a book which finally brings together the material evidence for Regency dress and the broad context of clothing at the time. It is lavishly illustrated and thoughtfully written with thematic chapters covering the self, the home, the city, the nation and the world, among others. It is hard to believe that a book on this subject had not been written before. Hilary has filled an unexpected gap in clothing history admirably.
Jane was at the book launch in the amazing headquarters of Sands Films at Rotherhithe, London, to hear praise for it and Hilary’s labour of love from Professor Lesley Miller (senior curator of textiles and fashion at the V&A Museum). The event took place in Sands' beautiful 18th century style theatre, which is hidden inside the labyrinthine building.
Dress in the Age of Jane Austen is not a book about 16th century dress – but it will make a great Christmas present for anyone who is interested in the history of clothing in general and provides an excuse to take a trip into another era for the holidays. Order it direct from the publisher here.
Another idea for a great gift is a ticket for the Missing Persons conference from Fri 3 to Sun 5 April 2020. The event offers a packed programme of events, which are detailed here - all for a package price of £299. The ticket is electronic so it can be emailed, even on Christmas Eve (by special request to, if you need a last-minute gift.
The last dates for ordering Tudor Tailor goodies to be sent as Christmas presents are as follows:
Thurs 5 Dec – Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central & South America, Far & Middle East
Fri 6 Dec – Cyprus, Malta
Mon 9 Dec – Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland & Slovakia)
Tues 10 Dec - Australia, Greece, New Zealand & Turkey
Thurs 12 Dec – Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland & USA
Mon 16 Dec – Belgium, France, Ireland & Luxembourg

Click the gallery thumbnails to view the full images