The Dress Diary of Mrs Anne Sykes : Secrets from a Victorian Woman’s Wardrobe

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by Strasdin, Kate


Published 22/02/2024 by Vintage Publishing (Vintage) in the United Kingdom.

Paperback | 320 pages

197 x 128 x 22mm | 280g

The hidden fabric of a Victorian woman's life told through her unique scrapbook.

In 1838, Anne Sykes was given a diary on her wedding day. Using it to collect snippets of fabric, she created a record of her life and times. Nearly two hundred years later, the diary fell into the hands of fashion historian Kate Strasdin who spent the next six years unravelling the secrets contained within its pages.

Piece by piece, she charts Anne's life and times. Fragments of cloth become windows into Victorian life: pirates in Borneo, the complicated etiquette of mourning, poisonous dyes, the British Empire in full swing, rioting over working conditions and the terrible human cost of Britain's cotton industry. Through the evidence of waistcoats, ball gowns and mourning outfits, Strasdin lays bare the whole of human experience in the most intimate of mediums: the clothes we choose to wear.

‘Flawless’ Amber Butchart‘Fascinating’ Clare Hunter‘Irresistible’ The Times