A copy of the book, The Turning of Anne Merrick--Lucinda Fountain
Winner of the 18th century stationery--Angela
Congrats! I will be notifying the winners by email.
“Sally wound the excess cording about her palm and issued a warning. “Brace yerself, now . . .”
Anne dug her heels into the earthen floor of their small tent. Knees locked, muscles clenched, she tried hard to present a counterforce as Sally gave her stay strings a series of good hard tugs. “I surely miss having my bedpost to cling to.”
“There!” Deftly fastened in a reliable knot, Sally tucked the loose ends behind the leather-bound edge of the stays. She then tied an embroidered pouch around Anne’s waist, settling it to hang over her left hip. “See t’ filling yer pocket, and I’ll ready my needle.”
The women jockeyed for position in the narrow aisle between the two cots—Sally gathering her sewing things, and Anne rifling through the confusion for the necessaries to equip her pocket for the evening—a folding fan, a scent bottle, a clean handkerchief, and the token Jack had given her before the Redcoats came to invade and occupy New York. She never went anywhere without her token, and the General’s table would be no exception.
from THE TURNING OF ANNE MERRICK
18th century attire is intricate by any standard. Elegantly dressed women were supported by elaborate constructions of panniers, bumrolls and bustles all draped over with silk and taffeta “robes” or “mantuas” of varying styles. The attire of lower class women was no less elaborate in some respects – petticoats or simple dresses were protected by a variety of aprons and jackets. Add to that kerchiefs and fichus, mobcaps and bonnets… it was a complicated method of clothing oneself. But even more fascinating than the birdcage-like panniers, all the exotic flounces and furbelows are the items worn under it all – items basic to all women of the time.
Casting the knickers aside :-) the basic undergarment for women of all shapes and stripes was the shift. Also called a chemise, this simple calf-length undergarment worn next to the skin was requisite attire. Depending on a woman’s status and economic means, a shift could be fashioned of homespun or fine Holland linen. The shift was quite serviceable plain, but often the parts that were visible to the eye such as the neckline or sleeve “cuffs” might be decorated with ruffles, lace or embroidery. The fineness of the weave and the brightness of the white color were more determinate of quality and status that any decoration. Being dressed in nothing but your shift was considered a state of “undress”. A woman in nothing but her shift was “naked”.
Christine Blevins on Twitter: @Author_CBlevins
Tour Event Twitter Hashtag: #TurningofAnneMerrickVirtualTour
Watch for my review of The Turning of Anne Merrick on Friday, March 16th.