AB: Grimble – Lady’s Stratagem

(This is an entry in the Annotated Bibliography.)

*Grimble, Frances, Edited, Translated, and with Additional Material by. The Lady’s Stratagem: A Repository of 1820s Directions for the Toilet, Mantua-Making, Stay-Making, Millinery & Etiquette. San Francisco: Lavolta Press, 2009.

This massive text is an excellent resource. Edited by a recognized expert, it comprises the amalgamated contents of six translated and reworked French fashion and beauty instruction manuals, five of which date from the 1820s and one from the 1830s. It is well organized and extremely thorough, including some editorial information incorporated into the text. It helps to fill a gap in costume research resources between the Regency/Empire/Federal period of the very early 19th century, and the Victorian period. The schematic drawings, patterns diagrams, and construction information are extremely thorough and comprehensive. This is a very useful resource for Regency and Romantic era clothing. The sheer volume of information is very impressive. This text is highly recommended, especially as a contrast and complement to the more utilitarian, and un-edited, Workwoman’s Guide. My only caveat is that it is often unclear from which source a given piece of text comes, and if illustrations are original or added by the editor. The book is instructional. It contains monochrome images, though not a great many. It contains a bibliography and “Further Reading list,” as well as a glossary and index. I personally own this book, and would highly recommend it.

Also by Frances Grimble:

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