A belated update

First things first, I’m sorry for the belated update!

With only a few days left in London before I venture back to the States and William and Mary, I have come to the decision to revise my thesis topic.  Earlier this summer I was worried that I may not be able to find enough information on fashion dolls to complete my proposed project.  Unfortunately, I have found this to be the case.  I am still interested in how fashion was advertised and disseminated, however, and have decided to research fashion advertisement more broadly.  With this new focus, I intend to look at how fashion trends were spread across national boundaries and what prompted changes in how these trends were spread (the printing press, for example).  As you can see, I still have many questions to answer regarding my topic:  do I want to look at how fashion was advertised before fashion dolls and, if so, how far back do I want to look?  And how far forward do I want to look with my revised topic?  Do I want to continue to the present day, Internet, and social media or stop at newspaper and magazine advertisements of the nineteenth century? Until I get these broader questions answered, I’ll give an example of one method through which fashion trends were disseminated during the Tudor era.

I was first introduced to the Lisle family last fall in Professor Popper’s Tudor History class.  Arthur Plantagenet, who was Lord Lisle and an illegitimate son of Edward IV, was Lord Deputy of Calais between 1533 and 1540.  Henry VIII arrested Lord Lisle for treason and the family’s letters were seized for evidence.  These letters, which still survive today, are a wonderful source for the fashions of this time period.  John Husse worked for the Lisle family, spent much of his time in London taking care of the family’s “legal, financial and personal affairs” (Ashelford, 21).  Husse kept the family up to date with the goings-on in England and would also write to Lady Lisle to inform her what types of clothing her daughters, who were at court, needed.  Husse would also buy fabric, have it made up to the “very fashion that the Queen and all the ladies doth wear” and send the finished, fashionable garments to his mistress in Calais.


Jane Ashelford, The Art of Dress: Clothes through History 1500-1904 (London: National Trust Books, 1996).


  1. jkfsummer2012 says:

    Unfortunately historical research can lead to a dead end sometimes. I’m glad though that your research has motivated you to ask new questions and come up with a new thesis. Good luck!