Out Today: Dress Diary of Mrs Anne Sykes

Out today is The Dress Diary of Mrs Anne Sykes by Dr Kate Strasdin which examines what we can learn about Victorian life through one woman’s textile scrapbook. I’m always fascinated by the clothes people are wearing in portraits and I love a costume museum/exhibition as well so this sounds like it’s going to be my sort of thing. Coincidentally I was following the author on Twitter before I’d even heard of the book because as well as interesting historical stuff she also posts pictures of gorgeous dresses from history. And I do like a look at history through the medium of something mundane/normal.

A couple of years ago, I read The Button Box by Lynn Knight, which looked at the changing lives of women in the twentieth century by looking at the contents of a box of buttons that has been passed down through her family. I have a copy of The Dress Diary… so I intend to report back, but given how easily I get distracted by cozy crime or romance, I thought I probably ought to give it a mention today before I suddenly realise it’s three years later and I still haven’t read it. Which is basically what happened with The Button Box…

Book previews, non-fiction

Out today: Femina

Ok so I haven’t finished this yet, but I wanted to give a mention to Dr Janina Ramirez’s new book, Femina, which is out today. She’s one of my favourite historians at the moment – I’ve enjoyed her TV shows and podcasts that she’s presented and been a guest on and I’m really enjoying her examination of the Middle Ages, looking at the women history has forgotten (or ignored). The Middle Ages are not one of the areas that I studied in much depth at university (I tended to stick to post 1485) but she has a very readable style and I’m learning a lot!

As you probably guessed from the fact that I’ve already started reading it, My copy came via NetGalley, but you should be able to buy Femina from all the usual places – Kindle, Kobo etc – and I’m hoping it will be in the bookshops too, like Foyles, even if I can’t see any click and collect copies at the moment.. Oh and Janina reads the audiobook herself.