Tag Archives: history

In Vogue – Sixty years of celebrities and fashion from British Vogue 1975

In Vogue

By Georgina Howell – First Published in 1975 by Allen Lane, this edition published 1978 by Penguin Books.

I found this rather battered copy at the weekend for £5. Close to 350 pages, large-format paperback it covers the period from 1916 to 1975. It’s mostly in black and white with a couple of four-page colour sections.

It is set out in chronological order (except for the colour pages) and each year has at least two pages. There are also long intros to each decade.

In Vogue

1917

In Vogue

1927

In Vogue

1942

In Vogue

1953

In Vogue

1966

In Vogue

1971

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The Anatomy Of Costume (1977)

Since I was small I have been interested in historical costume. I loved this book – I would pore over it for hours. I lost somewhere along the way, but I was really pleased to pick it up again recently – and it was just as I remembered it!

Anatomy of Costume

It was published in 1977 by Book Club Associates, by permission of Mills & Boon Limited.

It’s illustrated by Victor Ambrus – a prolific illustrator and author of both fiction and non fiction. In recent years he’s been working for Time Team illustrating reconstructions of archaeological sites and historic events.

I can’t find much about Robert Selbie. The cover notes that he was involved in theatre costume design.

The book starts with Egyptians and ends with the 1960s. Each era is discussed over four pages. The first spread is mainly text with small pictures around the outside. The second spread has a full-page image of a man and a woman on the right. All of the images are labelled and there are relevant quotes too.

These are the Romans:
Anatomy of Costume

The Tudors (Very Wolf Hall):
Anatomy of Costume

And what was worn in the 1940s:
Anatomy of Costume

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Victorian Children’s Non Fiction: The Young Naturalist – 1879

This week I bought a DVD of digitised out-of-copyright books about Lepidoptera and other insects. The are mostly 19th and early 20th century titles. Some have beautiful colour plates and some have hand-coloured illustrations.

This one caught my eye. This was published in the UK in 1879 – and is about butterflies and shells.

cover

Cover

title page

title page

The writing is aimed at younger readers and goes into a lot of detail about what the Greek and Latin means in the scientific names – often recounting the odd myth or two if relevant.

the young naturalist page

Greek and Latin myths

Text about the large blue

Text about the large blue

Colour plate

Colour plate

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World Cities – Yesterday and Today (a book of maps)

Cover of World Cities Yesterday and Today

Cover

World Cities Yesterday and Today by Michael Swift Published in 2009 by Fall River Press

This is not an old book, but a book of old maps. According to the cover there are over 250 maps and satellite images. There are over 50 cities covered. All have a satellite image with the area the old maps cover highlighted in different colours. Some cities might only have one map, some have several.

Now I love an old map, so this is heaven for me. Lovely to browse though, but I can imagine a good reference book for a writer of historical fiction (or non fiction even).

Here are three of the maps.
This one is Edinburgh early 18th Century

Edinburgh from World Cities maps

Edinburgh

Here’s New York 1821

New York from World Cities maps

New York

Paris c.1700

From World Cities Maps

Paris

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Children’s books and their illustrators from a distant childhood

Ruby the Robin by Patience Powell. The illustrator isn’t credited but the illustrations have the initials TK.
A Peekobook. Printed and Published by Perry Colour Books Ltd. 11 Buckingham Street, London W.C.2. I think it’s pre-1940s, but there is no date. One of a series.

Ruby the Robin by Patience Powell. Illustration by TK. Published in the 1940s?

Ruby the Robin by Patience Powell. Illustration by TK. Published in the 1940s?

Ruby the Robin is a cautionary tale of what might happen if you are a robin and you spend too much time shopping for hats.

Ruby the Robin by Patience Powell. Illustration by TK. Published in the 1940s?

Ruby loves shopping for hats.
Ruby the Robin by Patience Powell. Illustration by TK. Published in the 1940s?

While Ruby is in Peter Robin and Sons trying on hats she wishes that she could keep one of the hats on forever. A ‘queer little man all dressed in green’ suddenly appears and grants her wish. But all the other birds laugh at her and the hat won’t come off. Finally the little man relents and grants Ruby her wish to be rid of the hat.

Ruby the Robin by Patience Powell. Illustration by TK. Published in the 1940s?

The moral of the story.
Ruby the Robin by Patience Powell. Illustration by TK. Published in the 1940s?

Apparently ‘There are more important things to do in life than buy new hats all day.’ Words to live by surely?! The story ends with the line, ‘Now Ruby is a wiser bird and often goes hunting for crumbs and berries with the other little robins, instead of spending all her time looking in shop windows.

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Books and their illustrators from my childhood

Last week I saw this article in The Guardian, Writers’ favourite classic book illustrations – in pictures  and it reminded me of my childhood reading experience. We didn’t have a television during the period between me being five and twelve (ish) so I read – a lot.

I was read, and later read, the Narnia stories over and over again. I poured over Pauline Baynes’ delicate illustrations for hours. One year my nana gave me The Observers’ Book of European Costume illustrated by Pauline Baynes. (If anyone finds a copy with To Jill Love from Nana and Grandad inscribed in it it’s mine!). I’ve had a lifelong love of historical costume, and I think this was an early addition to my collection of costume books. I really like use of the two colours and the way the illustrations form a frieze. Published in 1975, the book starts at 1st century Roman and finishes at 1900 with a detailed 37-page glossary.

From Observer's Book of European Costume illustrated by Pauline Baynes

From Observer’s Book of European Costume illustrated by Pauline Baynes

I was going to talk about some other books and other illustrators, but I think I’ll leave it for later – so more later!

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