One of my Christmas presents this year was 18th Century Embroidery Techniques by Gail Marsh. I’ve wanted this book for a long time and it exceeded my expectations. I was expecting something informative but dull with black and white drawings but 18th Century Embroidery Techniques is a beautiful and entertaining book in full colour with many photos in addition to all the hand drawn diagrams. It explains many 18th century embroidery techniques along with a presentation of all the tools used. There’s also a glossary that was very useful to someone like me who’s completely new to embroidery.
Fashion and culture from the 1700s.
Posted Jun 18, 2012 at 18:54 CEST in Books.
I was contacted by the publishers of this book what must have been at least a couple of years ago, and asked if I wanted a copy to review for the blog. At the time I was busy with university and said I had no time to read it, but they still sent the book!
My main period of interest has always been the 1770s to early 1790s, but lately my interest for the mid and early 18th century has grown, I’m even tempted to make a mid 18th century outfit! This is what made me pick up this book and finally read it. The Courtiers by Lucy Worsley is a book about the court at Kensington Palace during the reigns of George I and George II, and it was a fun introduction to this period. The author presents all the interesting people at the court, and we get to follow them through their lives, and hear all the court gossip.
It’s not exactly an in-depth book and very much written as entertainment, which for me made it a great and easy to read introduction to earlier 18th century court life in England. I think it started out very interesting and fun but lost some of its momentum towards the end, which I suppose is natural since at the beginning all the characters are young and at their social peak with tons of things happening around them and at the end everyone is growing old and things are slowing down. Definitely recommended if you want to learn about the Georgian court!
This is definitely a new favourite book of mine. It’s very thorough, covering everything from the facade, interiors, furniture and various collections inside to the restorations made, the court life at “Kina”, 18th century chinoiserie in general and the Swedish East India Company. The chapters are written by different authors and everything is incredibly interesting. It’s also an absolutely beautiful book filled with big wonderful photos and also plans and drawings. I can’t recommend this book enough, it’s great.
The book is part of a set called De kungliga slotten (the royal palaces) and I can’t wait to read some of the other volumes. As far as I know they’re only available in Swedish.
Authentic Decor: The Domestic Interior 1620 - 1920 by Peter Thornton is a book about historical interior decoration and architecture.
If you want to learn about historical interiors this book is amazing. Each chapter starts with a longer text about the stylistic period in question and the rest of the chapter is all paintings, drawings and plans of interiors and architecture, everything with in depth captions. There are so many beautiful pictures and I find it very easy to learn when you actually have a visual example right next to the text.
Unfortunately this book is no longer in print but I think it’s pretty easy to find second hand.
The Private Realm of Marie Antoinette by Marie-France Boyer is a wonderful book about the more or less private spaces of Marie Antoinette, at Versailles, Rambouillet and Fontainebleau. It’s filled with interesting information and the pictures are beautiful and plentiful. It’s very easy to read and I think even someone with just a a casual interest in the 18th century will find this book entertaining.