"Dress, then, is something more than necessity of climate, something better than condition of comfort, something higher than elegance of civilization. Dress is the index of conscience, the evidence of our emotional nature. It reveals, more clearly than speech expresses, the inner life of heart and soul in a people, and also the tendencies of individual character."
—Sarah Josepha Hale, 1866.
"Thompson's patent glove-fitting corsets", trade card scanned from an original in our private archive.
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I've almost finished Book VI of my Tales of Chetzemoka! A scene in the story involves a playing card showing the Queen of Diamonds. Gabriel, besides being my darling husband and sounding board for all my stories, is also my favorite researcher, so back when I was writing the scene I set him the task of finding a picture of a Queen of Diamonds, circa 1886. He tracked down an image of a particularly pretty "Salonkarte" deck; I liked them so much that I wanted to incorporate the Queen of Diamonds onto the cover of my upcoming book. U.S. copyright for antique materials is kind of interesting: materials created before 1923 are considered to be in the public domain, however, in the case of materials in an archive or private collection, the copyright for materials which would otherwise be in the public domain is held by the owner of the collection. The owner's permission is needed to use that particular copy of the work. The image Gabriel originally found for me didn't have any information about who owned that particular copy, so I couldn't ask their permission to use it on the cover of my book. I could, on the other hand, seek out and purchase my own copy of this pre-1923 work: once I owned it, I could scan my copy and use it on my book cover. It took some dedicated hunting, but I eventually found a set of the cards on the German version of eBay. They're very pretty. I hope you enjoy seeing them, and that you'll all be looking forward to Book VI!