Courtiers of the time of Richard II. MS. Reg. 15 D. Ill, and MS. Harl. No. 1319.
COURTIERS OF THE TIME OF RICHARD II.
Anjou-Plantagenêt ruling dynasty
ABOVE all other periods in the history of England, that of the weak Richard II. was remarkable for the variety and gaiety of its fashions. The satirists and reformers of the day were zealous and loud in their outcries against the extravagance of the higher classes.
NO class of figures occurs so frequently in the illuminations of our earlier manuscripts, as those of ecclesiastics of different grades; and as the older illuminators were almost exclusively monks, we are justified in concluding that none are represented more accurately with regard to their costume and other characteristics.
Spanish warriors from a MS. of the end of the eleventh century
Ornamented initial letter E
EVERY step which we trace back in the history of the nations of Europe brings us nearer to a uniformity of costume. Fashions in dress did not begin to go through that quick vicissitude of change which characterizes modern times, till towards the thirteenth century. We can trace little variation in the dress of the Anglo-Saxons during the whole period of their history, and not much between that of the Anglo-Saxons and the Franks.
As people became more distinctly separated from each other by national jealousies, and long and obstinate wars, the new fashions adopted in one country were more slowly communicated to another, and thus the similarity of costume becomes separated by distance of date; while some countries became so entirely estranged from each other during a long period, that the resemblance of costume and the simultaneous variation was altogether lost.
Head-dresses of the ladies of the fifteenth century
L- Initial Letter
ELEGANCE and gracefulness, which had seldom exhibited themselves in the horned and peaked head-dresses of the ladies of the fifteenth century, began again to show themselves in the various headdresses of the beginning of the sixteenth. This was more especially visible in France, which country, then as now, took the lead in the fashions of dress.
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