The English Gentleman and Gentlewoman

The front page engraving by William Marshall to the third edition of Richard Braithwaite’s book published in 1641, basically a guide to what was acceptable behaviour. It wasn’t a small book. As the author said in his introduction:

“I had purposed that this work should have been digested into a portable volume, to the end it might bee more familiar with a Gentleman’s pocket, not to pick it, but that hee might picke some good from it: But since the Volume would not beare it, you must with patience beare with it, and with more trouble beare it, by inlarging your pocket to contain it.”

There are loads of details here worth looking at.

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The gentlewoman is wearing long skirts to her petticoat, a tabbed bodice, a fine layered kerchief and a ribbon in her dressed hair.

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The gentleman has a tall hat, wide falling band, short doublet and breeches with a splendid pair of boots. He is also sporting a fine coat with turned back cuffs in an off the shoulder manner, though notice that his falling band is arranged over the coat.

 

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This ragged fellow contemplating a tortoise in the garden is more modestly dressed in a plain doublet, breeches and shoes.

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Here is a selection of smartly dressed gentle-women, in petticoats, bodices and a variety of kerchief styles.

 

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And this lady is wearing what I can only describe as a “nursing smock”, split to the waist and pulled open for use. What it does reveal though, apart from the obvious is the pleats on her petticoat waistline.

 

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