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Picturing a World

House of Worth

After I ran across a footnote to George Augustus Sala’s Paris Herself Again in 1878, I was delighted to find a cheap used set. Now both volumes have been digitized and can be read on-line here and here. Sala has an amusing journalistic style, and from him I picked up all sorts of details about Parisian life as a visitor would see it during the time of the World’s Fair that celebrated France’s recovery from the Franco-Prussian War.

A passage on Charles Frederick Worth, for instance, gave me circumstantial details for Jeanette and Effie’s trip with Adeline Vann to the House of Worth.
Worth and his fashion house are mentioned frequently in novels and social histories but all too often with an assumption that the reader already knows all about him. Sala made me feel I’d been there. And I loved this illustration of the dictatorial designer!

For more about Worth, click here, here, and here.
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