In Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory Jones and Stallybrass argue that the making and transmission of fabrics and clothing were central to the making of Renaissance culture. Their examination explores the role of clothes as forms of memory transmitted from master to servant, from friend to friend, from lover to lover. This book offers a close reading of literary texts, paintings, textiles, theatrical documents, and ephemera to reveal how clothing and textiles were crucial to gender, sexuality, and religion in the Renaissance.
'In their beautifully conceived, well made, and copiously illustrated book, Jones and Stallybrass think out what it might mean to put on clothes in Renaissance society, on English stages, and for portraiture ... They have written a brilliant, multidisciplinary, and thoroughly original book that is a pleasure to read.' Prize Committee Citation, 2001 James Russell Lowell Prize, Modern Language Association 'This superb book reinterprets the construction of identities, whether social or sexual, power relations, the fabrication of memory, and the writing of drama during the Renaissance from the perspective of the fabrication and commerce in clothing. Built on analyses dazzling for their knowledge and adroitness (for example, the study of Velazquez's painting 'Les Hilanderas', of the changing figure of Penelope, or of the circulation of garments among the aristocracy, the theatre companies, and pawnbrokers), this work demonstrates the richness of an approach focused on the materiality of symbolic forms.' Annales '... erudite, substantial, and engaging ... offers a fresh perspective both on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and on our own assumptions ... assembles and presents far more fascinating information than I can do justice here ... While the authors generously facilitate selective reading, by providing a helpful introduction and informative titles for chapter subsections, this is a book that repays reading cover to cover.' CNN Money 'Jones and Stallybrass argue cogently and clearly, switching genre and medium easily but stitching the raw materials into a coherent and impressive whole ... this work should become both key in its own right and influential in suggesting a new approach to the study of the period overall.' Early Modern Literary Studies