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Recent Posts

  • Smock Frock Veterans
    A newspaper report in 1895 asked, ‘Where is the Smock-Frock?’, noting that it was a marker of the ‘old, hardy and honest peasantry’.  Forty or fifty years ago they were a common sight, but now ‘Old England’s rural garb is rarely seen!’, the railway and education, in particular, having changed rural society, not in a…
  • Book Announcement!
    I am very excited to announce that my book on smocks will be published on 20th May 2021 by Bloomsbury Academic. A social history of a single garment, my cast list includes Ellen Terry, Georgia O’Keeffe, the WI, body snatchers, navvies, Molly Goddard, John Dryden and many more. For me it is a way to…
  • Snapshot: one working man’s clothing practices in 1840
    The Corn Laws, in place between 1815-46, were, in brief, tariffs on imported grain and food, designed to give domestic producers better prices for their produce, but in reality causing food prices to rise and distress and hunger for working people unable to produce food for themselves. As protests against the Corn Laws gained momentum,…

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