Further Reading and Links


Costume (general)

The Cut of Women's Clothing - Norah Waugh 

 includes patterns (all based on extant examples). Covers years 1600 to 1930. Also historical quotes

Corsets and Crinolines - Norah Waugh 

includes patterns based on extant examples. also historical quotes and chapters on wearing period corsetry and baleen (whalebone).

The Evolution of Fashion 1066 to 1930 - Hill & Bucknell  

includes patterns ( some are historically dubious) but also information about fabrics, accessories, decoration and fashionable stance/movement. A good beginners' basic guide. 

A History of Fashion - J Anderson Black and Madge Garland  

general chronicle of historic fashion from ancient times. Well illustrated.

900 Years of English Costume - Nancy Bradfield  

general overview of English fashion from the Norman Conquest onward. Entertaining line drawings.


Costume (17th Century)

Elizabethan Laces - Gillian Dye 

introduction to both needle and bobbin laces and basic techniques

Fashion and Fiction - Aileen Ribeiro 

looks at dress represented through art and literature in Stuart England. 

In Fine Style The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashions - Anna Reynolds 

beautiful book looking at fashion through the paintings in the Queen's Collection.

The Modern Maker Books 1 and 2 - Matthew Gnagy 

exploring 16th/17th Century tailoring manuals and the Bara system of proportion 

Patterns of Fashion books - Janet Arnold 

detailed analysis of extant garments including patterns and construction methods

Le Pompe 1559 - Patterns for Venetian Bobbin Lace - Santina M. Levey and Patricia C. Payne 

facsimile of original lace pattern book 

Renaissance Patterns for Lace, Embroidery and Needlepoint - Federico Vinciolo

facsimile of 1587 pattern book

Seventeenth Century Women's Dress Patterns Books 1 and 2  -

exploration and patterns for some of the extant examples in the Victoria & Albert Museum's collection.

Seventeenth Century Men's Dress Patterns 1600 - 1650 

more of the same but for men.

Stuart Press books -

inexpensive, small volumes covering many aspects of 17th Century life. Packed full of information backed up with evidence, including the visual record and wills and inventories. Concentrates on the lower levels of society.  

  • Headwear, Footwear and Trimmings of the Common Man and Woman 1580 - 1660 - Robert Morris
  • Clothes of the Common People in Elizabethan and Early Stuart England - Staurt Peachey and Gilly Morley

The Tudor Tailor - Jane Malcolm-Davies and Ninya Mikhaila

included here as some of the patterns might be relevant (effigy bodies, waistcoat etc), plus lots of information about fabrics, and other social factors.  

A Visual History of Costume: the 17th Century - Valerie Cumming 

small volume looking at fashion through the visual record. Reproduction of images generally small and black and white.


General 17th History and Biography

Cavalier - Lucy Worsley 

biography of William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle 

Court Lady and Country Wife - Lita-Rose Betcherman 

biography of the Percy sisters Dorothy, Countess of Leicester and Lucy, Countess of Carlisle 

Constant Delights: Rakes, Rogues and Scandal in Restoration England - Graham Hopkins 

entertaining look at some of the bad boys and girls of the later 17th Century.

The English Civil War: A People's History - Diane Purkiss

Invisible Agents - Nadine Akkerman 

female spies during the mid 17th Century

Mayflower - Nathaniel Philbrick

story of the first European settlers in North America

North Wales and Cheshire in the Civil War - Norman Tucker

chronicle of the conflict in North Wales and Cheshire

The Verney's - Adrian Tinniswood 

biography of the 17th Century Verney family

The Weaker Vessel - Antonia Fraser 

study of women's lives during the 17th Century

Women all on Fire - Alison Plowden 

real women's experiences during the English Civil War

An Unhappy Civil War - John Wroughton 

the experiences of ordinary people in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire during the English Civil War


Fiction (novels set during the 17th Century which I have enjoyed)

The Crimson Ribbon - Katherine Clements

The Girl with a Pearl Earring - Tracey Chavalier

Havoc in its Third Year - Ronan Bennet

Silent Companions - Laura Purcell



Angela Clayton's Costumery & Creations - blog showing Angela's work creating period inspired costumes.

The Costume Historian - blog looking at fashion history 1550 - 1750

Flock Flicks - blog looking at historic costumes in films and TV programmes

Grace's Lace - website about early needle made laces (Reticello/Punto in Aria). Excellent step by step instructions and videos.

Historical Management Associates Ltd/Stuart Press - Stuart Peachey's website offering Stuart Press books and historically accurate fabrics (suitable for lower class impressions)

The Modern Maker - Matthew Gnagy's site and blog showcasing his work. Includes posts about making needle lace.

Sarah Bendal - academic website and blog exploring 16th and 17th Century fashion, especially underwear. Some recreations of extant items.

The 17th Century Lady - general blog about 17th Century life featuring lots of reviews



By the Sword Divided (1983 and 1985) - BBC drama series about the aristocratic Lacey family, torn apart by the English Civil War and its aftermath.

Charles II:the Passion and the Power (2003) - BBC drama series starring Rufus Sewell as the Merry Monarch. Very good male costumes, women's costumes get better as the series progresses.

Cromwell (1970) - starring Richard Harris as Oliver Cromwell and Alec Guinness as King Charles I. Dated now but the only decent big budget film about the English Civil War to be made.

The Fortunes and Misfortunes Moll Flanders (1996) - ITV drama series starring Alex Kingston and Daniel Craig. Enjoyable, sexy romp with gorgeous costumes.

Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003) - starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth. Film of the novel. Beautiful recreation of 17th Century Holland

Tale of Tales (2015) - starring Selma Hayek and Toby Jones. Gorgeous retelling of three Italian fairy tales, but not for children.

Tales from the Green Valley - starring Stuart Peachey. BBC documentary series following five historians as they bring a Welsh 17th Century farm back to life.

The Three Musketeers (1973) - starring too many good actors to name (and Raquel Welch!). Exciting and humorous, and sticks pretty close to the original novel. The best telling of this story by far.

The Four Musketeers (1974) - more of a second part, rather than a sequel to the previous year's film. The costumes and recreated 17th Century Paris - both Royal court and everyday street life - are marvellous.