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Dressing Up

Dressing Up shows why clothes made history and history can be about clothes. It imagines the Renaissance afresh by considering people's appearances: what they wore, how this made them move, what images they created, and how all this made people feel about themselves. Using an astonishing array of sources, Ulinka Rublack argues that an appreciation of people's relationship to appearances and images is essential to an understanding of what it meant to live at this time - and ever since. We read about the head accountant of a sixteenth-century merchant firm who commissioned 136 images of himself elaborately dressed across a lifetime; students arguing with their mother about which clothes they could have; or Nuremberg women wearing false braids dyed red or green. This brilliantly illustrated book draws on a range of insights across the disciplines and allows us to see an entire period in new ways. In integrating its findings into larger arguments about consumption, visual culture, the Reformation, German history, and the relationship of European and global history, it promises to re-shape the field.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Prologue ; 1. Introduction ; 2. Looking at the Self ; 3. The Look of Religion ; 4. Nationhood ; 5. Looking at Others ; 6. Clothes and Consumers ; 7. Bourgeios Taste and Emotional Styles ; Epilogue: An Old Regime of Dress? ; Notes ; Select Bibiliography ; Index

About the Author

Ulinka Rublack teaches early modern European history at Cambridge University and is a Fellow of St John's College. One of the most original scholars of her generation, she has previously published The Crimes of Women in Early Modern Germany and Reformation Europe. She is editor of Gender in Early Modern German History and the Oxford University Press Concise Companion to History(2011).


a thrilling investigation into why material mattered as much as ideas in Renaissance Europe ... What is really stunning, though, is the extraordinarily deft way in which she has stitched together all these fragments, selvedges and even stray threads. * Kathryn Hughes, The Guardian * Dressing Up delves into the cultural, economic, and personal meanings of individual appearances and appurtenances and is in a class of its own. There are few books on this topic that are so well-researched and clearly written * Brett Landenberger, Comitatus * Rublack wants to place German vernacular art on the Renaissance map, reconfigure notions of Protestant sobriety, and recalibrate the generally accepted view that Germans were uncouth, had little sense of a cohesive national identity and imitated 'superior' Italian humanism ... Dressing Up takes the argument about material culture and the language of clothes to compelling territory. * Marina Warner, London Review of Books * this highly original, beautifully illustrated book, teeming with ideas and written with insight and historical imagination, shows hoe investigation of one facet of a culture can shed important new light on the spectrum of early modern cultural and social life. It will be of great interest far beyone the field of the history of dress. * Andrew Morrall, English Historical Review *

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