Tag Archives: history


I’ve gone through all my historical clothing tonight, in a sudden burst of energy (and my knees hate me right now), to see what I still have left. I gave a lot of stuff away over the years, and so I wasn’t sure what I’d kept. There are some gowns I knew I’d have–they’re the sort of thing you wouldn’t give away ever.

In total, I went through two wooden trunks, two closests, four huge fabric bags and three large cardboard boxes. Phew!

So I was quite pleased to see I had kept more than I thought. Now, the gown I was looking for for myself was my 1250 gown, made of blue silk. I knew where my barbette, crespine and fillet were (and I need to modify those a little), but the gown itself and the shirte… not too sure. Thankfully, I found them all, and there was much rejoicing, along with some ‘ow’s’ and a bit of ‘argh, it’s creased,’ but overall, yay. Plus my hand-turned leather shoes, dusted off and all good. YAY.

I do have a photo of me wearing said gown, but it’s quite a few years old and I’ve changed a lot since then, so I’m not really au fait with posting it. Instead, have a few images from wiki commons which illustrate the sort of gown and headwear I’m talking about.


So, the gown is equivalent to what the lady on the right is wearing, with the headwear of the lady on the left.


This is the gown (lady on the right), but neither headpiece is what I’ll be wearing. If Jazz goes with the other gown I have for the event, she’ll be wearing that style of headpiece, though.


This one, lady on the left, is pretty much the exact outfit I plan to wear for the event.

All these illuminations come from the Codex Manesse, a German illumination, done between 1305-1340.

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Posted by on March 25, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Passing on the Signal.

So my good friend E. E. Ottoman, a fellow fibre lover and history buff, has posed an interesting question on her blog. The full post is here and will, I’m sure, generate some interesting discussion. 

What I posted in response to this thoughtful post is the following: 

For me, the most important thing is how attitudes differed between countries/empires in a certain period. In my quest to figure out what was what and where in the mid-12th century, my first port of call was the inestimable Paul Halsall and his tremendous Internet History Project. The section on GLBT history is *huge* (over yonder) and there’s also full bibliographies which are enormously helpful.

My second port of call is Academia Edu which is like a Facebook for academics and has a huge wealth of information and academic papers on just about anything you can think of.

I also find Etymology Online very useful, eg., the page on the word ‘gay’ and the one on ‘homosexual’

While writing “City of Jade,” what I found interesting was the clear difference in attitudes between Byzantium and the Southern Song Dynasty – in Byzantium, gay relationships were a big no-no, despite Byzantium’s lean towards a Greek identity rather than Roman. In the Southern Song, it wasn’t a big deal, and the term ‘fentao/fen-tao’ was used quite frequently to describe same sex relationships. It’s fascinating to me to see how the openness deteriorated as Western attitudes insinuated on China, particularly towards the end of the Qing Dynasty and during the Manchu rule. (And there’s a wealth of beautiful GBLT love poetry from China and from Persia as well.) 

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Posted by on February 26, 2013 in Uncategorized


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