Dress in Anglo-Saxon England
When it first came out in 1986, Gale Owen-Crocker's book was a milestone in costume studies, a foundation on which much work has subsequently been based. Nearly twenty years later, there is more to be said, and this updated edition is long overdue. An encyclopaedic study of English dress from the fifth to the eleventh centuries, it draws evidence from archaeology, text and art (manuscripts, ivories, metalwork, stone sculpture, mosaics), and also from re-enactors' experience. It examines archaeological textiles, cloth production and the significance of imported cloth and foreign fashions. Dress is discussed as a marker of gender, ethnicity, status and social role - in the context of a pagan burial, dress for holy orders, bequests of clothing, commissioning a kingly wardrobe, and much else - and surviving dress fasteners and accessories are examined with regard to type and to geographical/chronological distribution. There are colour reconstructions of early Anglo-Saxon dress and a cutting pattern for a gown from the Bayeux tapestry; Old English garment names are discussed, and there is a glossary of costume and other relevant terms. GALE OWEN-CROCKER is Professor of Anglo-Saxon Culture at the University of Manchester. She has a special interest in dress throughout the medieval period - she advises on dress entries to the Toronto Old English Dictionary and has consulted for many museums and television companies. She is co-editor of the new journal Medieval Clothing and Textiles. Generously illustrated with 25 plates, 12 in colour, and 140 drawings.
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This is one of the best books available about Anglo-Saxon dress. It is a reliable standby for re-enactors and academics alike. There is an extensive bibliography if you want to dig deeper. Gale Owen-Crocker takes you through the different stages of dress as the Anglo-Saxons were around for centuries and their dress evolved over time.
A historical framework
Womens costume in the fifth and sixth
Womens costume from the seventh
to the ninth centuries
Womens costume in the tenth and eleventh
The constellation Perseus from London British Li
Figure in mail from the Bayeux Tapestry
Textiles and textile production
The significance of dress
Old English garmentnames
A possible cutting plan for an eleventh