Saturday, March 29, 2014

Historical Facts: What color is that?

When writing historical novels, seemingly simple details like the color of a woman’s dress, can get the author into hot water with people who take their history seriously.

For example, I bet you think black is the color to wear for mourning. Yet in Europe those attending royal funerals always wore white. White was the color of “royal mourning”. As recently as 2004 the four daughters of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands wore white to their mother’s funeral, and when Queen Elizabeth of England attended a state funeral in France her couturier had to make her an entire series of outfits in white.

I was totally fascinated by the way some of these rules are exactly the same as in old China. People in mourning in China always wore white, and yellow was never worn because yellow was the Emperor’s color. Apparently in Regency Britain yellow was virtually banned as well.

Fortunately Collette Cameron has written an excellent blog on the correct colors people wore in Regency days.

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

No comments: