Between the Medieval and The Modern

August 7, 2017

CoBloWriMo Day 4 – Favorite Era

Filed under: Uncategorized — Frau Magda @ 10:36 pm
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My favorite historical era has got to be the 16th century.

Even though I’m now a Technical Writer, I studied to be a high school English Teacher in college. Which meant that we studied Shakespeare, and made lesson plans to teach Shakespeare. I’d already been exposed to the Bard when I was a kid, via Classics Illustrated comic books. I had Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in comic book form. But studying Shakespeare and creating lesson plans also meant reading about all things Elizabethan. Because modern students need context in order to understand some of the references when reading Shakespeare. And somehow, falling in love with Elizabethan England led me to renaissance faires, which led me to the Landsknecht.

But I spent a LOT of time in England before I discovered the continent and started diving into all things German. I’ve got shelves and shelves of books about Elizabethan costuming. For years, before Devra retired in 2015, I would see Poison Pen Press at Arisia and Birka and Boskone. I would buy whatever costuming books she had that I hadn’t already bought from her the last time I saw her. (And I occasionally slipped up and bought something I already owned, whoopsie!) I got my copies of Herbert Norris’s Tudor Costume and Fashion, Janet Winter’s Elizabethan Costuming, The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant, all my Tudor Tailor books, and all my Janet Arnold books (including Queen Elizabeth’s Wardrobe Unlocked) from her.

There is such a wide variety of costumes in the 16th century. We’ve moved from the simple lines of the middle ages, into having more complicated clothes. And clothes that really vary by region. German styles are different from Italian styles are different from English, Dutch, and French styles.  I remember reading someone’s costume blog where they said that some busybody had tried to tell them that they’d made a mistake on their Italian Renaissance gown. “That’s because it’s Polish, not Italian.” The person replied.

There’s so much going on in both history and fashion, I could never get bored with the 16th century , there’s always more for me to learn about.


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