I happened to actually wander outside the house this morning and I’m glad I did because I had a package! My new books arrived. *Cue geeky cheering*
Boydell & Brewer Press had a sale recently and I decided to pick up a couple books that had been on my wish list. I honestly didn’t expect to get them this quickly with everything going on in the world. But, they’re here and now I have some new reading and adding to my reference shelves at home.
I picked up The Medieval Clothier by John S. Lee which is about the cloth and clothing trade in medieval England. Here’s part of the book description from the publisher:
“This book offers the first recent survey of this hugely important and significant trade and its practitioners, examining the whole range of clothiers across different areas of England, and exploring their impact within the industry and in their wider communities. Alongside the mechanics of the trade, it considers clothiers as entrepreneurs and early capitalists, employing workers and even establishing early factories; it also looks at their family backgrounds and their roles as patrons of church rebuilding and charitable activities. It is completed with extracts from clothiers’ wills and a gazetteer of places to visit, making the book invaluable to academics, students, and local historians alike.”
The other book I bought was Refashioning Medieval and Early Modern Dress: A Tribute to Robin Netherton edited by Gale R. Owen-Crocker and Maren Clegg Hyer. This is a collection of essays on costume, fabric, and clothing. I wanted this because Robin Netherton is awesome; I got to work with her when I presented a paper for the DISTAFF group at the International Congress on Medieval Studies a few years back. I also know several of the authors who contributed to this work and I’m excited to read their articles. Here is the description from Boydell & Brewer:
“All those who work with historical dress and textiles must in some way re-fashion them. This fundamental concept is developed and addressed by the articles collected here, ranging over issues of gender, status and power. Topics include: the repurposing and transformation of material items for purposes of religion, memorialisation, restoration and display; attempts to regulate dress, both ecclesiastical and secular, the reasons for it and the refashioning which was both a result and a reaction; conventional ways in which dress was used to characterise children, and their transition into young men; how symbolism-laded dress items could indicate political/religious affiliations; ways in which allegorical, biblical and historical figures were depicted in art in dress familiar to the viewers of their own era, and the emotive and intellectual responses to these costumes the artists sought to elicit; and the use of clothing in medieval literature (often rich, exotic or unique) as narrative, structuring and rhetorical devices.
Taken together, they honour the costume historian and editor Robin Netherton, who has been hugely influential in the development of medieval and Renaissance dress and textile studies.”
So, I’m excited to have some new things to read while we are staying at home during this time. Not that I ever run out of things to read because I always seem to collect books faster than I can read them.