Medieval Dress and Textiles in Britain

Medieval Dress and Textiles in Britain

A Multilingual Sourcebook

Edited by Louise M. Sylvester, Mark C. Chambers, Gale R. Owen-Crocker

A vital sourcebook for information on clothing and textiles in the middle ages, containing many previously unprinted documents.
Texts (with modern English translation) offering insights into the place of cloth and clothing in everyday life are presented here. Covering a wide range of genres, they include documents from the royal wardrobe accounts and petitions to king and Parliament, previously available only in manuscript form. The accounts detail royal expenditure on fabrics and garments, while the petitions demand the restoration of livery, for example, or protest about the need for winter clothing for children who are wards of the king. In addition, the volume includes extracts from wills, inventories and rolls of livery, sumptuary laws, moral and satirical works condemning contemporary fashions, an Old English epic, and English and French romances. The texts themselves are in Old and Middle English, Latin and Anglo-Norman French, with some of the documents switching between more than one of these languages. They are presented with introduction, glossary and detailed notes.

Louise M. Sylvester is Reader in English Language at the University of Westminster; Mark Chambers is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Durham University; Gale R. Owen-Crocker is Professor of Anglo-Saxon Culture at the University of Manchester.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781782043836), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.

Table of Contents

Inventories and Rolls of Livery
Moral and Satirical Works
Sumptuary Regulation, Statutes and the Rolls of Parliament
Unpublished Petitions to King, Council and Parliament
Epic and Romance


A very useful volume and the editors should be thanked for making this engaging selection of material. By doing so, this book will help stimulate interest in the topic and facilitate research. COSTUME

An important volume [that] is set to become a valuable resource. TEXT

[A] most welcome and valuable contribution to fashion and textile studies. It provides an outstanding introduction to essential British sources and an excellent glossary to aid researchers. SPECULUM

The editors should be commended for the breadth of the sources considered in the book, and the attentive translations. It makes a valuable resource for those studying the medieval past and daily life, and a suitable springboard for those wishing to delve more deeply into the evidence of dress and textiles. TEXTILE HISTORY

This useful and enjoyable handbook...should inspire further scholarly investigation. MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY

[P]resents the reader with a richly interesting and useful collection of documents offering information about medieval clothing practices and the role of textiles more broadly. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW

This work is truly a sourcebook, intended to be of use to researchers unable to view the primary documents in person. Presented are portions of medieval texts on dress, textiles, clothes, and fashion in Old and Middle English, Latin, and Anglo-Norman French, side by side with modern English translations. Recommended. CHOICE

Also by Author

Also in Series

Related Titles