Medieval Costume in England and France: the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries (1996)

By: Mary Galway Houston

This carefully researched volume offers lovers of both costume and the medieval period a meticulously researched and accurately detailed study of the clothing of the Middle Ages. Following an illuminating discussion of the style and construction of costumes worn in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, noted costume historian Mary G. Houston provides detailed descriptions and illustrations of actual apparel worn by all classes and sectors of society. Included are elaborate royal, academic, and legal costumes; Eucharistic vestments and garments of religious orders; working class apparel; civilian dress; and more. Also examined is a wide variety of accessories and ornaments, jewelry, armor, textiles, embroidery, coiffures, and other items.

The clear, succinct text is splendidly documented by 350 black-and-white line illustrations based on contemporary books and manuscripts as well as representations in paintings and sculpture. Indispensable for students of costume history, medievalists, illustrators, and fashion historians, Medieval Costume in England and France will delight anyone interested in the medieval period and its dress.

More Information


Publisher: New-York : Dover publications, 1996.
ISBN: 0486290603 9780486290607
OCLC Number: 491756801
Description: x, 228 p. : front., ill. ; 21 cm

Table of contents

Table of contents

About the author

About the author

Mary Houston came from Coleraine, County Londonderry and in 1890 went to study at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. In 1894 and 1895 she exhibited lace and crochet at the Royal Dublin Society and black and white drawings at the Arts and Crafts Society of Ireland. The following year she won prizes for leather-work and repousse metal-work. In 1896 she moved to London to study at South Kensington where she became extremely successful. She began to exhibit with the English Arts and Crafts Society, and won a gold medal for a modelled leather book cover. In 1901 she exhibited with the Royal Academy. Her book bindings, including the Rubiayat of Omar Kayam were very popular and she also embossed and modelled leather panels. She was also a fine metal-worker, working in silver, copper and pure tin and in 1900, her toilet set in beaten silver was sent to the Paris exhibition as an example of work from British Art Schools. She often used designs inspired by Irish myth and legend. She was commissioned by the Studio to design two silver trophies. Later in her career she turned to Celtic style designs. Although an international artist, she continued to exhibit at the Royal Dublin Society and at the Irish Decorative Art Association Exhibitions held in Portrush, County Antrim. She joined the staff of Camberwell School of Art and became interested in costume design, and wrote three books on the subject: Ancient Egyptian, Assyrian and Persian Costumes (with Florence Hornblower); Medieval Costume in England and France and Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine Costume.

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