English Life and Manners in the Later Middle Ages

By A. Abram | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII
THE MIRROR OF FASHION

To attempt in a little book dealing with many aspects of social life to give an account of all the different garments worn by English men and women during the long period under our consideration would be impossible, but to choose from among changing fashions features which could be pronounced typical of the age as a whole would be almost as difficult, and we find ourselves on the horns of a very awkward dilemma. The most we can hope to do is to give a few examples of the most striking modes of dress in use at the time, and some slight indica. tion of the trend of its development. We are, however, comforted by the knowledge that costume in England has been so admirably described by other writers that our deficiencies can be easily made good by reference to their works, and that after all it is not so much the actual cut of the clothes worn by our ancestors which is of interest to us, but their significance. Even at the present day when there is comparatively little variety in clothing, and comparatively little importance is attached to it, a discerning eye can gain from a man's dress some idea of his character. But in the Middle Ages there was so much more choice both of material and of colour, so much more scope for fancy and in

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English Life and Manners in the Later Middle Ages
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xi
  • List of Illustrations xiii
  • Abbreviations Used in The References xv
  • Chapter I Social Classes 1
  • Chapter II Life Amongst the Aristocracy 9
  • Chapter III Characteristics of Town Life 18
  • Chapter IV The Position of Women 31
  • Chapter V The Church and the Nation 46
  • Chapter VI Some Aspects of Monastic Life 62
  • Chapter VII Business Life 80
  • Chapter VIII The Unemployed 95
  • Chapter IX Aliens in England 103
  • Chapter X Family Life 113
  • Chapter XI "Mete and Drinke" 134
  • Chapter XII The Mirror of Fashion 152
  • Chapter XIII Houses 173
  • Chapter XIV Public Health 190
  • Chapter XV Education 204
  • Chapter XVI Amusements 230
  • Chapter XVII Travelling 248
  • Chapter XVIII National Character 260
  • Appendix Authorities 284
  • Index 337
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