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1542: A naked man's dilemma

Image adapted by the contributor from original frontispiece to Chapter 1 fo 'The Boke of Knowledge'

When it comes to fashion, not a lot changes! The sixteenth century Cuckfield writer Andrew Boorde tells us that choosing fashionable clothes was a real headache for the man about town in the sixteenth century too. The man in the illustration, that accompanied the poem below, even has cloth and scissors at the ready - but, sadly, inspiration has he none:

I am an English man and naked I stand here,

Musyng in my mynde what rayment I shal were;

For now I wyll were thys, and now I wyl were that;

Now I wyl were I cannot tel what.

All new hasyons be plesaunt to me;

I wyl haue them, whether I thryue or thee

This goes on at length, and it's a tough read - check the link below if you want to read on.


'The Boke of Knowledge' by Andrew Boord, c1542.

Chapter 1 'The Englishman who loves new fashions' made available by Creative Commons, Public Domain.

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.


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