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Feminine Display

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 802004. New York Public Library Fashions of the Napoleonic era for women had been dashing. However, larger social forces were at work that now placed a disapproving stamp on this look. While the daintily-shod foot could still peep out from under voluminous skirts, necklines rose and the feminine figure was concealed beneath jaunty collars, puffed sleeves, and other additions.

 1632259. New York Public Library Another indicator can be seen in the hats - frothy and a harbinger of mroe to come during this century. Rackety King George IV was long dead, and his old sea dog brother would sit on the throne for only a few more years.

A new era was coming. It would be marked by a transition from the House of Hanover to the House of Windsor. Yet this change wasn’t endemic to Britain alone. The same reaffirmation of a sterner morality included continental Europe and America. This new zeitgeist took form in the shape of a slender eighteen-year-old. The young Queen Victoria was ready to re-order society into an image of her making.

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