Fashionable First Lady: The Victorian Wardrobe of Mary Lincoln

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9780979538308: Fashionable First Lady: The Victorian Wardrobe of Mary Lincoln
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To the Victorian eye, first appearances and the way one was dressed made a lasting impression, and proper ladies of that era wanted very much to leave a positive lasting first impression. Women paid attention to the details of their attire and their accessories, for one mistake could lead to social ostracism. As a member of the aristocratic Todd family, Mary Lincoln was able to adhere to the latest fashions made from the finest fabrics. As a young woman, Mary was one of the belles in Lexington, Kentucky and in Springfield, Illinois, then a bustling frontier town. She was a member of the social plan where ladies were concerned about the width of their ribbons, the length of their skirts, and the latest Parisian fashions. Even in widowhood, Mary kept abreast of the latest fashions. Mary Lincoln enjoyed shopping. For her it was almost an art form. But other than a few gowns which became famous because she wore them for photo sittings, little is said about Mary's choice of dress. How did they relate to the fashion of the era? Did she dress like other Washington women of society? Where her dresses outstanding because they were different and more elaborate than anyone else's? And what is discovered about Mary's personality by examining her wardrobe? Fashionable First Lady: The Victorian Wardrobe of Mary Lincoln answers these questions and more. Each of Mary's known costumes is examined. When available, detailed information such as the width of a sleeve and the color of piping is given. In addition to information about Mary's gowns is information about 19th century fashion, mourning attire, and photographs of Mary's fashion choices. Information about White House social functions and stories about the Lincoln's entertaining helps the reader gain new insights into Mary's personality and understand her fashion choices.

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About the Author:

Donna McCreary's lifelong interest in the American Civil War and Mary Lincoln led her to become a historical presenter and lecturer. She has extensively researched the Lincoln and Todd families and uses information from original documents to take her audiences into America's turbulent past. As a member of the Association of Lincoln Presentors, she is the recipient of the Outstanding Mary Lincolon award in 1997 and 2000; the Glenn Schnizlein Memorial Award in 2005; and the Lincoln Legend Award in 2007. It was while designing stage costumes for her progams that McCreary bcame interested in nineteenth-century women's fashion. Her study of photographs, period dress descriptions, and original dreses from the era, as well as those that belonged to Mary Lincoln, contributed to the development of her extensive documentation of Mrs. Lincoln's clothing. In recognition for her work as an educator, author, and historian, McCreary has been included in several editions of Who's Who in America and has received numerous civic and professional awards. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in secondary education from Indiana University SE, and is a member of the Society of Midland Authors.

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Donna D. McCreary
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Donna D. McCreary
Published by Lincoln Presentations (2007)
ISBN 10: 0979538300 ISBN 13: 9780979538308
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