There is a great deal of fashion information in literature. As it is literature and not actual history, the comments on clothing have to be taken with caution. Authors vary as to how accurately they write about fashion and other historical cultural matters used to flesh out their plots and characters. Of course the most reliable fashion references are those in contemprary works. There are various types of literature of interest to HBC. We note useful information in both novels and children literature. Of special interest to HBC is the large number of boy characters in British literature. Of course one helpful aspect of many books are the often fascinating references or even discussions of clothing.
There is a great deal of fashion information in literature. As it is literature and not actual history, the comments on clothing have to be taken with caution. Authors vary as to how accurately they write about fashion and other historical cultural matters used to flesh out their plots and characters. Of course the most reliable fashion references are those in contemprary works.
There are various types of literature of interest to HBC. We note useful information in both novels and children literature.
There is a great deal of interesting fashion information in English novels. There are useful refrence to fashion in novels for the simple reason that fashion is important to people. Novels are all about describing the human condition. Thus novelists have to address what is important to people. Of course a major part of any novel is developing the character of the key people in the novel. Of course many people express their character in the clothes they choose. In other instances clothes are determined by the circumstances in which they find themselves.
There is also a great deal of fashion information in biographies and autobiographies. This information tends to be highly reliable. We have archieved this infomation in the biography section of HBC. We do not yet, however, have a separate French biograohy section.
We have developed agreat deal of information on Englisg children;'s literature. We have much less on French chldren's literature at this time. We are not sure if there is just less children;s literature written in French or that we simply lack information on it. We have noted that a popular series of books in the 1950s and 60s for younger readers
was Signe de Piste. These books seem more focuded on boys than girls as they are primarily adventure stories. We also note many primary reading text books illustrated by Marcel Marlier. There were titles like Mary and Her Family and Mary’s Holidays. These look rather like the American Dick and Jane readers. Hopefully our French readers will provide us more information on French children's books.
I have limited information on boys in French literature. This may well be because of my inability to speak French. We know of several books with boy characters. I do not know, however, of any important French boy literarty character. Some of our French visitors have provided some details to HBC. It appears while there have been books written about French boys, both adult books and children's books. As far as we can determine, however, nome of these characters have arisen to the cultural status that American and British boyhood characters like Oliver Twist or Tom Sawyer acieved. Perhaps our French readers can take issue with this or confirm it. HBC is not sure why there is such a difference in English and French literature.
Of course one helpful aspect of many books are the often fascinating illustrations.
A very important part of any children' books are the illustrations. Many of us adults can remember missing the declining use of illustrations in books as we grew up. While our knowledge of French children's literature is still limited, we have noted several important French illustarors that have left us with wondeful images of French children and rge clothes that that they have worn over time. One of the most important is Pierre Jobert who specialized in Scouting. Maurice Boutet de Monvel was the most successful illustrator in France during the late 19th century. A French reader has suggested Michel Gourlier as an important French illustrator, but HBC at this time knows nothing about him. Hansi or Jean Jacques Waltz was born in Colmar, an Alsatian city that had just been annexed by Germany as a result of the Franco Prussian War. He has left us some wonderful images of Alsatian and French children in the late 19th and early 20th centiry--many with political overtones. Francisque Poulbot is one of the most famous French illustrators, especially illustrators of children. Poulbot is particularly known for his drawings of Paris street urchins. While not a major illustrator, Antoine de Saint Exupry, needs to be mentioned because of the importance of his one children's book, The Little Prince which he both wrote
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