The Era of the Crinoline

Can you imagine getting dressed in the age of the crinoline? Crinolines were originally attached to a petticoat, but later the cage crinoline left legs relatively unencumbered. Although at first welcomed for its light weight (multiple petticoats could get heavy), the crinoline had its hazards, including fire. Lady Dorothy Nevill recounts being close to a fireplace and “in an instant, I was in a blaze, but I kept my presence of mind, and, rolling myself in the hearthrug, by some means or other eventually beat out and subdued the flames.” Picture and excerpt taken from Strong Minded Women & Other Lost Voices from 19th Century England by Janet Murray in a chapter aptly named “Suffering for Beauty.”

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