Illuminated manuscripts are widely regarded as beautiful works of art in their own right, but if examined closely, they also reveal a wealth of information about the people depicted within them. Often these images are taken at face value, and assumed to depict everyday clothing at any given time: but illuminators often used dress, and elements within it, to help give nuances to the events they were painting, that contemporary viewers would have understood. Dress historian, Margaret Scott sets about meticulously unraveling the messages about rank, aspiration, belief and occupation encoded within these images. This is the first book deliberately to focus on dress as it is depicted in the illuminated manuscript, and to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of illuminations as source material. Overall, this title provides a visual feast and rich historical source that will prove invaluable to art historians, costume designers and all those interested in this colourful period.
Margaret Scott was Head of the History of Dress Section at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London University, from 2001 until 2004, and is now a freelance writer. Her previous books include A Visual History of Costume:the 14th and 15th Centuries (1986) and Medieval Clothing and Costumes: Wealth and Class in Medieval Times (2003).