New books!

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For Christmas, my parents and in-laws cleaned out my Amazon wish lists. I have an unexpected blessing of research materials and inspirations for scribal work and for costuming. Here’s a sampling:

Introduction to Manuscript Studies: this is a textbook for medieval studies that will answer just about every question I think I’ve ever had about understanding manuscripts and historical calligraphy – all the rules and abbreviations and explanations about the how’s and why’s of their manufacture, study, and interpretation. If you spend a lot of time poring over manuscripts in your research, this is a very handy book to have around.

Dress in Anglo-Saxon England: you can’t tell how thick this book is from the photo, but it’s quite the volume covering 5th-11th c. English costume from a variety of perspectives. Textiles, existing finds, garments, construction, social classes and anthropological roles of clothing, and information for those wishing to reconstruct them are all covered. What I know of these, the clothing is economical and easy to construct but elegant when properly fitted and given to being ornamented with embroidery and woven trim. A very good thing. I’m really looking forward to our move in the summer because I might have time to really dig in to this. I’ve read her research in some other books, and it was wonderful, revelatory work that brought some joy back into the drudgery of sewing.

French Illuminated Manuscripts in the J. Paul Getty Museum: this is a rich pictorial guide to some of the finest French manuscripts in the Getty’s collection. The photos are much better and larger than their online resources, and there are more images from some of the really cool manuscripts I’ve been wanting to see.

Inkle Weaver’s Pattern Directory: I’ve been trying to get my head around inkle patterns and weaving since it’s so speedy. This book has 400 patterns and has a spiral binding inside a hard cover so that it lays nice and flat while you work with it. The instructions are clear and easy, and there are things of all sorts of widths and complexities in here. Now, I just need to sort my loom out (grrr) so that I can make up yards and yards of splendid trim that I can put all over all sorts of things.

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