Chaucer and Clothing: Clerical and Academic Costume in the General Prologue to the Canterbury Talesby Laura F. Hodges
Religious and academic dress in the middle ages functioned as a metaphorical signifier of spiritual and intellectual standards, implied a given social status, signalled the rejection or possession of garment wealth, and, in the details, suggested the wearer's spiritual state. This book presents the first sustained analysis of the characterizing dress worn by Chaucer's pilgrims who are in holy orders and/or affiliated with universities; the author uses approaches from a variety of disciplines (received criticism of late medieval literature, developments in political, economic and social history, the visual arts, and material culture) in order to present the complex ideas and rhetoric the pilgrims' dress expresses. She also makes the religious, intellectual, and material culture of Chaucer's day accessible to modern audiences through the reconstruction of the significance of fabrics, dyes, accessories, garments, and assembled costumes, and an explanation of technical details and specialist vocabularies for cloth-making, clothing, accessories, and their images in the visual arts.
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